After a few elections you get to wishing voters here would show a little more imagination in the candidates they write in -- especially as it's so simple now.
The touch-screen voting machines are easy as tablets: You get to the end of the candidate list, tap the "Record Write In" icon and a keyboard pops up for you to type in the name.
It can be any name. Stinky McBoogereater, Crappy Bowler, Farty Thunderclap, Winky The One-Eyed Clown.
Yet a review of write-ins from ballots cast in Columbus' Nov. 4 General Election shows some voters still can't think of anything more original than the usual cartoon characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Spongebob Squarepants, Goofy, Snoopy, Winnie the Pooh, Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, etc.
Others still go for actors, dead or alive: George Burns, John Wayne, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jim Carrey, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland. Or for fictional characters: Batman, Superman, Big Bird, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Kermit the Frog, Alfred E. Newman, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Forrest Gump, Tom Terrific, Lloyd Braun, Herman Munster, Ralph Malph, Harry Potter, Sonic the Hedgehog, Smokey Bear, Kermit the Frog, Lily Munster, Old McDonald, Ronald McDonald, The Hamburglar, Eric Cartman, Jackie Chiles, Aquaman, Mr. Clean, Captain Planet, Jiminey Cricket and John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith.
Some historical figures, musicians or other celebrities always make the list: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Van Buren, Jimmy Carter, Shaq, Jesus, Snoop Dogg, Niel Degrasse Tyson, Sam Adams, Sam Nunn, Stan Lee, Tim McGraw, Rosalyn Carter, Jon Stewart, Zell Miller, David Byrne, George W. Bush, Phil Robertson, Ted Nugent, Bear Bryant, John Glenn, Jerry Garcia, Honey Boo Boo, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Hendrix, "Michael Jackson The King of Pop," Jeff Foxworthy, James Taylor, Tom Cruise, Steve Earle, Michael Bolton, Spiderman and Joe Biden.
As always, you have some voters who are in denial, unable to accept the unopposed candidate or his or her party affiliation, writing in "Qualified Individual," "Anybody Other Than Republican," "Any Volunteer," "Whomever," "Nobody," "Not Necessary," "Someone That Actually Works," "None Of The Above," "Anyone Else Breathing," "Anybody Other Than Republican," "Honest Person," and "Someone Else Please."
Either the ballot or the vote tally lacked space for two, one "Current Person, If No Current Person Than I Choose The Mo-.," and another "Neither One Of These Candidates Are Worth Voting F-." One seemed perplexed: "Not Sure About This Option." And another just had to point out: "I Don't Live In Pine Mountain."
Other votes are just kind of generic: Woman, Bill, Ben, Bob, Sam, Duke, Bulldog, Love, Molly, Jimbo, Ficus, Your Momma.
Some voters just don't seem to grasp the concept. Apparently they just follow what appears to be the instructions on the touch-screen, and where it says "Record Write-In," they call up the keyboard and type: "Record Write-In." Many more type "Write In."
Not all entries are ho-hum, however. A few always stand out, like "Flying Spaghetti Monster," an Internet figurehead for a fake religion and satirical theory of the Earth's creation critics are challenged to prove wrong.
Here are few of the more uncommon:
The Green Man, Queen Bee, Lulu, Hingle McCringleberry, Silly Wabbit, Turkey Leg, Xanadu, Dash Riprock, My Left Shoe, Old Man Willow, Homestar Runner, Buzz Driver, My Dog, Blankman, Buster The Cat, Boo Boo Kitty, Starlight, Edger "Toot" Jefferson, A Pet Rock, Yellow Dog, Any Random Monkey, Dogcatcher and Bobo The Clown.
With the November election in the heat of football season, you might expect a few Roll Tides or Go Dawgs to show up, but they didn't.
One War Eagle did, though.
Tim Chitwood, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-571-8508.