When the polls closed on the 2010 Gubernatorial General Election last Tuesday, 7,119 votes had been cast for non-candidates by voters who chose to write in their names on the ballot. Most seem to be personal accolades, just for the thrill of having a vote cast for oneself. Some are attempts at humor. Others are in support of candidates who the majority of voters passed over in the Primary Election. Perhaps most significantly are the few write-in campaigns and protest votes, which show personal grievances or more wide-scale complaints against shoo-in officials. All are recorded for history, to be remembered until…well, probably until you give up reading through them all looking for some humor.
Perhaps the one useful note from these votes is that a number of voters seem confused about the difference between the alphabetical “O” and numerical “0” on the voting screen. Could there be further confusion that plays into the outcome of close races? The write-ins also show how impossible vote tabulation would be if no names appeared on the ballot; even when a voter cares enough to write someone’s name in, they often get the wrong spelling. Accordingly, all vote totals given by The Dagger are approximate based on our interpretation of what the voter meant.
Joseph Leonard Delozier, a write-in candidate for County Council President, amassed approximately 567 votes to incumbent William Boniface’s 72,198. There were 1,328 total write-in votes in the race.
Art Helton received a write-in vote for Senate in District 34, even though he was on the ballot, bringing his Harford County Election Day total to 12,041. Harford chose Helton over Jacobs, who garnered 11,935 votes, but was defeated when Cecil County overwhelmingly selected Jacobs.
Jim Rutledge, who was defeated in the U.S. Senate Republican primary by Eric Wargotz, received votes for many races. He staged a quiet write-in campaign for Attorney General, where he received approximately 500 Harford votes. The race for Attorney General was perhaps the most interesting of write-in races, where Democrat Doug Gansler ran unopposed. Many Harford residents complained at the lack of Republican opposition, and many more took the opportunity to mark this race as their chance to vote for themselves or slide in a fictional character. Rocky Gonzalez, a member of County Executive David Craig’s administration, received 22 votes in the race.
The late Roger Lambie, Sr., a gun right’s activist, received votes for Governor, Congress District 1, and three votes for County Council District C. Terry Hanley received 16 votes in that race, while Brian Young, whom Tuesday’s winner Jim McMahan defeated in the 2006 primary, received 2 votes.
District 35A saw the same results from the primary; Donna Stifler narrowly beat co-delegate Wayne Norman, while Jason Gallion received 22 votes, David Tritt received 17 votes, and Dave Seman received 8 votes. Derek Howell, who lost to incumbent Joe Woods in the District B Republican primary, received 29 votes in the General. Howell also received 22 votes for Attorney General.
Fred Silva received 240 votes for County Executive, while Rob Wagner received 20. The District A race saw 3 votes for defeated Democrat John Henkel, while defeated Republican Jim Thompson received none. Wayne Gilchrest received 3 votes in Congressional 1.
After reviewing as many write-ins as we could stomach, The Dagger has awarded the best write-in to whomever voted for “Flying Spaghetti Monster and his Noodly” for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. There are the usual votes for Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, Goofy, Batman, Sponge Bob, Bozo the Clown, Homer Simpson, Stewie Griffin, God, and Jesus. There are plenty of “Any Body Else,” “No One,” and “No Confidence,” but also some more clever votes for “No Troglodytes” and “Anyone but this knucklehead.”
A few local mini-celebrities fared well, including Circuit Court Judge William O. Carr and Master Fred Hatem. A few local attorneys received votes for Attorney General or other offices.
Surprisingly few votes were cast for Ray Lewis, and Kimmie Meissner fared far worse than 4 years ago, when her popularity was it its peak after the Olympics.
A few other Dagger favorites were “Basil Marceauxdotcom” (check out the website), “Masked Crusader,” “Molly the Wonderdog,” “Squirtle,” and, of course “The Dagger.”
Which are your favorites?