Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Not quite like the film with Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon

Yesterday, I spent all day (and by that I mean from 6:00am to midnight) working the Takoma Park municipal elections. I had worked the presidential election last year for Montgomery County because they desperately needed Spanish-speaking election judges and, in the process, I caught the civic duty bug. This time, however, I actually got to work in Takoma Park. (Last time, I just shunted off to Silver Spring. As such, I met a very surprised Chris Lewis from AU Library's Media Services.) And one of the side benefits of the venture this time about was that four of the 25 of us workers happened to live on my very own street! So now I know more neighbors. I was also lucky enough that the people who I got to work with were really a lot of fun, as we started getting punchy about a half-hour into the day. Of note to you politicos out there: Takoma Park adopted a resolution where they would not use touchscreen technology for municipal elections, so we were back to good old-fashioned paper ballots yesterday. They took forever to count, but it made the count exciting -- and people commented all day about how much they loved the paper trail.

My ward actually had a contested race which was a squeaker, and the incumbent mayor won by a good though not large margin. More fascinatingly, a write-in candidate in another ward got about a third of the votes of the officially uncontested winner of that race -- who apparently won his seat last time around as a write-in candidate. It is the write-in candidate thing that I wanted to blog about, however, because people write in the damnedest things. My favorite mayoral votes tallied last night include:
  • Mickey Mouse,
  • Vladimir Lenin,
  • Dick Cheney,
  • and, my top choice, Mai Dog.

The most amusing thing about this is that apparenly at the official results notice this evening, the poor City Clerk has to read all the names of everyone that was voted for. And naturally, this is being broadcast live on the Takoma Park city local cable channel. Tune in for what promises to be a scintillating reading.

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