Voters abhor a vacuum.
On their ballots a candidate running unopposed demands an alternative, and on their touch-screen voting machines now they can call up a keyboard and type any name they want, right under the automated instruction "Record write in."
"Recordwrite in," someone typed for Soil and Water Commissioner. "Write in," wrote others. Some people take things literally.
"Anyone else" remains a popular option with many Muscogee write-in voters, as do Jesus and God and classic Disney cartoon characters: Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Goofy, Daffy, Donald, Pluto.
Movie fans writing in fictional candidates raise interesting possibilities: What if Transformer Optimus Prime were Muscogee County Tax Commissioner? Could he not come to the front counter at the tag office and show off his transformation? Imagine his asking a truck driver, "So you need a tag for a big truck, huh? How big is it? Does it look like THIS?" Click, clack, rachet, vrooom!
Unfortunately, no one thought to type in Optimus Prime for Muscogee County Tax Commissioner. But someone did write him in for the Public Service Commission seat held by Chuck Eaton.
Hardly any office cooks the write-in voters' creative juices like a PSC seat. Is there a "Dr. Octogonopuss" in the house? No? Too bad, because he or she got a vote, as did Iron Man, Beyonce, Gucci Mane, Finn The Human, Malibu Barbie, Stephen Colbert and Your Mama.
Thousands of local voters were OK picking Barack Obama or Mitt Romney for president, but not whoever wrote in "Neither They Both Suck." Others dissatisfied with their choices proposed Oatmeal, Will Smith, Willie Nelson, Aubie The Tiger, Shutup Stopcomplaining, and of course, Ron Paul.
Not everyone was pleased to see Congressman Lynn Westmoreland go unchallenged. Among the write-ins for his office were Any One But This Guy, Any Stray Dog, Anybody With Sense, Barbra Streisand, Batman, Big Bird, Bobo The Clown, Captain Crunch, Chuck Norris, Homer Simpson, Honey Boo Boo, Krusty The Clown, Lizard People, Peter Pan, Ronald McDonald, Snoop Dogg, Thomas Edison and Mike Jolley.
Georgia Senator Josh McKoon ran unopposed, too, so voters proposed alternatives such as Captain America, Count Chocula, Jarvis Jones, Larry King, Lassie, Anyone Not Tea-Partying and Pillowpants.
Give "Gozer The Gozerian" a high-five next time you see him (or her): He got a vote for Georgia House District 133. So did Sideshow Bob.
Think how much fun brides and grooms in a hurry to wed would have exchanging vows before Probate Judge Conrad The Cat, or Judge Elmo, Jimminy Cricket or Spongebob Squarepants.
Keeping up with Superior Court sure would be a lot more interesting were Billy The Kid, Jack Sparrow or Tipper The Cat the chief clerk. And if you're not happy with Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr, perhaps you'd prefer Boss Hogg or Quickdraw McGraw.
Though no one thought to suggest that a Transformer run the county tag office, voters did propose some alternatives to Tax Commissioner Lula Huff, including Groucho Marx, Roy Rogers, Sarah Palin, Tooth Fairy and "Somebody With Customer Service Experience."
If you go to ledger-enquirer.com to download the entire 121-page list of Muscogee write-ins, be sure not to miss such notable down-ballot names as Hingle McCringleberry, Twerky McBooty, Sequester Grundlepath M.D., Larsen E. Pettyforger Esq., and Chichimamabutt.
Tim Chitwood, email@example.com, 706-571-8508.