‘None of the above’ Locals cast write-in votes in presidential election

By on January 18, 2017

Write in votes in the 2016 Presidential Election included Ted Nugent Chase Utley, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Chuck Norris

By Patrick Burns

 Ted Nugent

Ted Nugent

Chase Utley

Chase Utley

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Judging by the flood of post-election media coverage, it appears the 2016 presidential race has never truly ended.

Despite Donald Trump’s election upset two months ago, some voters recently purchased a full-page New York Times ad urging millions to rise up to oppose the president elect.

Unfortunately for them, the election is over and only votes cast on or before Nov. 8 are included in the official tally.

However, some ballots on Election Day are not counted — at least not in the traditional sense — as many voters chose to cast votes on often obscure, sometimes arcane, and ultimately inconsequential write-in candidates.

Write-in votes, though recorded and compiled, “are considered irregular ballots, “according to Lancaster County Chief Registrar Randall Wenger.

That definition is spelled out under Pennsylvania’s Election Code’s “Manner of computing irregular ballots,” Wenger said.

There were 7,228 write-in votes in the county to reconcile during “the official count and canvass” of the 2016 presidential election, he said, and 15,228 in the 2016 primary.

“Individuals have a right to cast their vote for the person of their choice, even if they are not on the ballot, and we report those names,” said Wenger.

!!! election1In our region, there were 216 write-in voters, including 95 in Ephrata, 51 in Cocalico, 35 in Clay, 27 in Akron, and eight in Adamstown.

There were several dozen of the expected write-ins, such as Bernie Sanders, Mike Pence, Ben Carson, and plenty of write-in misspellings of Evan McMullin — more than a dozen different ways. The former a former CIA agent and chief policy director for the House Republican conference entered as a write-in candidate in early August.

Write-in votes cast for Ohio Governor and Trump foe John Kasich were entered with more than 20 different spelling and grammatical variations.

There were the usual cast for Mickey Mouse, Alfred E. Neuman, and Elmer Fudd.

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

Several head-scratchers cast from voters included single write-in votes in Ephrata for Ben Sasse, Nebraska U.S. Senator and a vote for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz .

An presumed NASCAR fan voted for Tony Stewart; a Dallas Cowboy’s fan from Akron chose Tony Romo, and perhaps a Phillies fan from Rothsville cast a vote for Chase Utley.

Not to be outdone, a Cocalico resident voted for Pittsburgh Penguins winger Phil Kessel.

A single write-in ballot entry correctly spelled Karl Marx, whose The Communist Manifesto, written in 1848, inspired revolutionary socialists and influenced the Russian revolution.

Barak Obama and Michael Bloomberg each received two votes while Mindy Fee, John Kerry, John McCain, and Joe Biden each received one local vote.

Chuck Norris, Jeb Bush, and Chris Keniston a candidate running on the Veterans Party of America ticket, each earned a single vote from Ephrata Borough voters

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie received a single vote from a voter in Ephrata Township’s Murrell District. An Akron voter cast an unexpected honor to Lititz Fourth of July Committee Chairman Tim Reedy.

Lynne D. Boyer, one of seven candidates who sought Ephrata’s district judge seat in 2011, received a vote from a resident in Ephrata’s 2nd Ward. Stevens dentist Harry Eshbauch snagged a vote in Ephrata Township’s Murrell District.

Mike Maturen, a magician and American Solidarity Party candidate received two votes from Ephrata voters and one from an Akron resident.

An East Cocalico resident voted for screen actor Leonardo DiCaprio, another voted for Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, and still another chose Misha Collins, a TV actor best known for his role as the angel Castiel on the television series Supernatural.

A resident in Cocalico’s Smokestown district voted for country music singer Rory Lee Feek while Willie Nelson earned one from a Reinholds’voter.

Conservative rocker Ted Nugent compelled one vote from a Clay Township resident. Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson earned a pair of votes and other write-ins associated with the entertainment business were cast for Troy Clair, president and chief executive of Clair Global in Lititz, and rock legend Alice Cooper.

A video game enthusiast added another animated character to the write-in list by casting a vote for Ulfric Stormcloak, the Jarl of Windhelm and leader of the Stormcloak rebellion.

Ulfric was one of many names we had to look up and still came away puzzled.

If you want to search Lancaster County write-in votes casts in the 2016 presidential election, go to: http://vr.co.lancaster.pa.us/ElectionReturns/November_8,_2016_-_General_Election/245WriteIn.html

Patrick Burns is social media editor and a staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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