May 12, 2016
This is the United States of America, and in the United States of America, registered voters can throw their support behind anybody – non-fictional or fictional – that they darn well please.
As is the case with every election in town, Philadelphia voters did just that courtesy of the write-in vote option available to all in last month’s round of Pennsylvania primaries.
While Adolf Hitler, Deez Nuts and Ronda Rousey didn’t make the list this time as they did in November 2015 general election, this April’s batch offers a litany of noteworthy vote recipients (myself included!).
Here’s a look at the most noteworthy names found on 502 pages of documents that the county Board of Elections office near Delaware Avenue and Spring Garden Street made available for PhillyVoice’s perusal on Wednesday:
Beyonce: One vote in the state auditor general’s race (North Philly). So did “Cheese” with a smiley face drawn next to it (Bridesburg).
Reality-television figure Kim Kardashian: One vote in the Republican Presidential primary (Bella Vista).
Chaka Fattah’s currently incarcerated namesake son got a vote in the 1st Congressional District race.
Former Sixers great Allen Iverson drew a vote in the 2nd Congressional District race on the cusp of University City while University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann surfaced in the tally for auditor general. Also drawing a vote in the auditor general’s race was former Phillies outfielder Von Hayes.
Jesus Christ was nominated in just about every category, as was local Tea Party activist Dr. Robert Sklaroff.
Kodos, the alien on "The Simpsons" who once impersonated Bill Clinton in an effort to win re-election, was written in for auditor general (Center City, between 18th Street and the Schuylkill River, just north of Market). Milton Street also received a vote in this race.
Chinese Communist revolutionary Chairman Mao (Zedong) and Argentina Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara: Each received a vote (for auditor general and U.S. Representative in the 1st Congressional District, respectively) in the Old City area.
Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army solider found guilty of violating the Espionage Act through the WikiLeaks disclosure: One vote for auditor eneral (Mantua).
Karl Marx, one vote for state treasurer (lower Kensington).
Mumia Abu Jamal got votes in the Democratic primary for attorney general (Germantown) and state senate (West Philadelphia).
Bill Nye, the “Science Guy”: a vote in the Republican U.S. Senate primary (near the Italian Market), which had him in a dead heat with “A Roll of Scotch Tape” and “Someone Else Who Is Not A Fool.”
Both Oprah Winfrey and former Phillies outfield Pat Burrell garnered support for president (as a Republican) and for state senator in the 7th Senatorial District from the Manayunk/Roxborough/Wissahickon area.
Pope Francis drew a vote in the Republican presidential primary (Northeast Philly), as did late President Abraham Lincoln (Rhawnhurst).
The late Prince Rogers Nelson received votes in the Republican 1st District congressional race and for an alternate delegate to the DNC (Fishtown/NoLibs area; near Frankford Avenue at Decatur).
Marijuana activist N.A. Poe drew votes in the attorney general’s race (for both parties), as well as the 13th district U.S. Congressional and 174th Legislative District state-house contests.
As far as the presidential primaries went, current and former candidates were often written in the party for which they didn’t seek a nomination. Also getting votes were Vice President Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, late former President John F. Kennedy, former Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, First Lady Michelle Obama, former GOP candidates Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, former Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse “the Body” Ventura, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Both Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck received ample support across an array of races. Mickey was written in for 1st and 5th District state senate, both the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries and as an alternate delegate to the DNC. As for his friend Donald Duck, he picked up support in the Republican U.S. Senate, 2nd district state senate, 195th state house and for president (as a Republican candidate).
Other cartoon characters who received write-in votes: Bluto from "Popeye" (13th District, U.S. House), Bugs Bunny (3rd district state senate), Elmo (181st state-house race), Goofy the dog (auditor general: Republican), Minnie Mouse (1st congressional) and Scrooge McDuck (state treasurer).
Legalize Weed: One vote for attorney general (Society Hill).
“Atlas Shrugged” character John Galt: one vote in the Republican presidential primary (West Philly).
Lord Voldermort from the “Harry Potter” franchise: 198th district state-house primary.
Though not a human being, the Second Amendment, or 2A, received a litany of support in the U.S. Senate Republican primary. (That amendment to the U.S. Constitution, of course, guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms.)
Unusual nominees to serve as delegates or alternate delegates to this summer’s national conventions for both major parties include “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Black Lives Matter, Bernie Sanders supporter/actress Rosario Dawson, Dopey and Sleepy of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves fame, El Barto, disgraced state Sen. Vincent Fumo’s namesake son, Elmer Fudd, “Idiots,” Marxist theorist Rosa Luxemburg, “McFatty,” "My Mom," actor Jack Nicholson, Pluto the Disney dog (auditor general, Republican), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, “Screw the System,” Snow White (5th district state senate), Spongebob Squarepants and St. Nicholas.
As for the highlights of other races, garnering at least one vote were Batman (186th state house), a Cheesesteak (attorney general), Darth Vader (3rd senatorial district), "My Foot" (auditor general), "My Right Foot" (state treasurer), Huey P. Newton (188th state house) "Not You" (197th state house), former Mayor Michael Nutter (1st U.S. Congressional), stand-up comedian Doug Stanhope (1st Congressional, 175th state house), "This Shouldn't Be Elected" (auditor general) and new Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (auditor general).