Ron Swanson slight smile and eyebrow raise in Parks and Recreation

The Absurd Write-in Votes That Helped Defeat Roy Moore Are Delightful

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Roy Moore still hasn’t accepted that he lost the recent U.S. Senate race Alabama, probably because his fellow-Republican predecessor, Jeff Sessions, won the last election there with 97% of the vote. Whether it’s the allegations of child molestation, general anti-Republican sentiment, or both, it’s stunning to see, just three years later, a nearly 50-point drop in vote share for the party’s candidate in a state that favors him so heavily.

To make things hurt extra, it seems that the number of write-in votes was larger than Doug Jones’ margin of victory over Moore, which makes the votes of people who’d rather support fictional characters than Roy Moore seem especially poignant—not to mention the voters who used the ballot as a comment card, instead. In case you had any doubts about the integrity of our election system and the ability of election officials to dutifully record the votes as they were cast, some of the responses released in Alabama’s detailed breakdown of the vote are pretty telling.

Even the write-ins deemed “unable to count” were still fully reported in Alabama’s Bibb County, including “honesty and integrity,” “both are an embarrassment,” and “Jesus Christ.” That last one was probably not meant as an exasperated exclamation of frustration with the fact that Moore even had a chance, as just voting for Jones would be a far better way to express that, but I’m going to choose to live with my headcanon anyway.

Also among the write-ins were some of our favorite humans, both real and fictional, including Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation, Ellen Degeneres, Tim Gunn, Spongebob Squarepants, and Mickey Mouse—and non-favorite humans like Ronald Reagan, Andrew Jackson, and “Ghost of Stonewall Jackson”—although real human candidates like Republican primary candidate Luther Strange and possessed Keebler elf doll Jeff Sessions received the highest totals by far. It’s worth noting, though, that these votes would be far less funny if the election had swung the other way by a similar margin, and I think it’s safe to say both Ron Swanson, Ellen Degeneres, and Tim Gunn would be pretty disappointed in their supporters in that event.

However, there were plenty of write-ins that probably would’ve gone to Moore if he hadn’t turned out to be such a colossally horrible person, so we’re more than happy to imagine these write-ins helped do him in.

(via Daily Dot, image: NBC)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct <em>Geekosystem</em> (RIP), and then at <em>The Mary Sue</em> starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at <em>Smash Bros.</em>