Mickey for Mayor?
Write-ins tickle some, bedevil others in Loudoun elections
Despite a robocalling campaign, Mickey didn't win the Purcellville mayoral race.
Thursday, May 13, 2010 Updated at 2:16 PM EST
Who says political robocalls don’t work? This year 622 voters cast write-in ballots in Loudoun County’s May 4 town elections, the Loudoun Times reported.
The suggested candidates ranged from fictional characters (Mickey Mouse
) to famous politicians (Sarah Palin
) to criminals (Bernie Madoff
). There was also the occasional mystery candidate -- who is “good ole’ Treefrogs Johnson?”
In the realm of fictional characters, there was one clear write-in winner in Purcellville
– Mickey Mouse. The Disney mainstay received 96 votes.
That may be due in part to automated phone calls generated out of North Carolina at the request of an unknown individual. The calls urged Purcellville voters to write in Mickey Mouse for the mayoral seat against incumbent Bob Lazaro, who ran unopposed, Dianna Price, secretary of Loudoun County’s Electoral Board told the Times.
Ponzi scheme artist Bernie Madoff, Sarah Palin, scratchy-voiced comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, Sesame Street’s Elmo, Snoopy and Joe Blow also got marks from voters for mayor in Purcellville.
However, while the write-ins may all seem like a light-hearted exercise in free speech, county election leaders don’t see the humor. Counting and attempting to validate write-in names takes time, and costs taxpayers money, they said.
This year the county expects to bill Purcellville about $60 for the overtime incurred by an election worker who was on the job past 9 p.m. counting write-in votes.
Proving the point made by many a bumper sticker: Freedom isn’t free.