Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Why you shouldn’t vote for Mickey Mouse

Posted by sanityinjection on September 9, 2008

No, I am not making a reference to the T-shirts that show Barack Obama wearing a pair of Mickey Mouse ears 🙂 I’m talking about the many voters who write in a frivolous name like Eric Cartman or Chuck E. Cheese on their ballot, either as a joke or as a form of protest.

Dave Gram interviewed Vermont election officials to explain why this is a bad idea:

“Optical scanner machines used in many Vermont communities are programmed to spot the oval filled in by someone indicating they’ve written in a name, thereby setting those ballots aside so they can be counted by hand.

Then it’s up to the town’s Board of Civil Authority — made up of Selectboard members and justices of the peace — to examine the ballot to determine the voter’s intent. That process takes time, costs money in the communities where vote-counters are paid and can create other headaches, such as when poor handwriting leaves the voter’s intent unclear.

A write-in vote for Mickey Mouse gets thrown out, said Milton Town Clerk John Cushing and others. But some said a vote for Bart Simpson — a character on Fox’s animated comedy “The Simpsons” — is trickier, since that could actually be someone’s name.”

Depending on how many polling places there are in a community, an election can cost thousands of dollars to administrate. That money comes from local property taxes, so if you cast a frivolous vote that wastes election officials’ time, you’re wasting your own tax payments.

Of course, not every write-in vote is a frivolous one. Some serious candidates for office mount write-in campaigns when they are unable to qualify to have their name printed on the ballot. Your vote is your voice, so cast it wisely.

Full article: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/ap/politics/2008/Sep/09/election_officials_on_joke_voting__don_t_do_it.html

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