The Write-In

In early 2004 my state senator, Dan Rutherford, sent me (and presumably most/all other voters in my district) a questionnaire asking our opinions on various issues. Nice. As I read through the questions I became a little suspicious. I’m really good at taking multiple choice tests. These questions were leading to one specific right answer, which often was not the answer I would have chosen had the question been worded more neutrally. In many cases I chose the wrong answer. I included my email address in the provided space and I mailed it in.

He was kind enough to send me an email wishing me a happy birthday, but he also sent emails asking to help campaign for George W. Bush and various local Republicans. I don’t think I signed up for that.

When I received the 2004 election guide I was slightly disappointed to see that he was running unopposed, so my only option was to not vote in that race.

Instead, on a whim, I decided to run as a write-in candidate. It turns out this was more complicated than one would imagine. Write-ins have to actually register with the county clerk in order for the votes to get counted. Apparently when I did this the information somehow made its way to the local newspaper, who mentioned it. Additionally, since this race was larger than one county I would have had to register in other counties as well. That was more effort that I really wanted to devote to this endeavor, so I didn’t bother. I didn’t really know anyone in other counties in the district and I had no intention of campaigning. I was only doing this to give myself a choice (albeit and extremely unlikely one).

Now, who would vote for me? The biggest problem here was that I lived right on the edge of town, and the few blocks around me were in a different state senate district that the rest of town where all my friends lived. I sent email to a few people I knew informing them they could write my name if they wanted to. We voted. I didn’t ask anyone if they voted for me, but a few people told me they did. I did. Melissa did. One of Melissa’s professors did. A friend from the running club did. Well, that’s something.

The results came in. I officially received one vote.




So 25% (or possibly fewer) of my votes were counted? Yikes! Needless to say, I did not win the election.

One thought on “The Write-In”

  1. Election fraud.

    The News Gazette article was written in such a profoundly stupid way that it seemed like you opposed increasing bike safety.

    The whole thing was outrageous, but it probably would have outraged me more if I had not lost all faith in the system in 2000.

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