Friday, November 9, 2012

3829 Write-in Votes for Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin got almost 4000 write in votes on Georgia ballots Tuesday, estimated to be almost 16%. This was thanks to UGA plant biologist Jim Leebens-Mack who wanted to send a message to Paul Broun, the guy who stood in front of a herd of taxidermied deer heads and said evolution is lies straight from the pit of hell.) (story from Inside Higher Ed.)

I kid UGA a lot, but I'm prepared to totally give them expertise on plants. (Just last night I was looking at one of their publications about figs. Georgia figs don't require cross pollination so we don't have fig wasps, which is disappointing.) The professor's success in getting the public to pay attention using social media is also excellent. This facebook page helped get these nearly 4000 people to go to the trouble to write in a vote, and this is on a touch screen mind you, so you can't just scribble it in, you have to pull up a touch keyboard or something I think. I've never tried it. I didn't even vote in uncontested races, I left them blank. Apparently 23,592 people did the same thing to this jerk. But 6,773 people stod at the voting machine looking at Paul Broun uncontested on their screens and took the time to read the instructions to write in a candidate and go through all the steps. That's wonderful.

Overall, 6,773 people cast write-in votes in the 10th Congressional District race, including about 3,829 votes for Darwin. Another 23,592 people skipped over the race entirely. Only 42 percent of Athenians who voted pressed the button for Broun.
This website has the entire write in list for their district as a PDF, 371 pages. Mars Curiosity got votes. So dead scientists and robots on other planets are more desirable than the actual candidates running for office. Welcome to the future.

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