I believe voting in every election is part of your civic duty. If nothing else it earns you the right to complain about politics until the next election. The turn out in Tuesday’s election was 41% in Albemarle County and 26% in the City of Charlottesville. I expect to hear less complaining about politics from those living in the city.
I was flattered to learn that I received several write in votes from among those dissatisfied with the choices presented on the ballot. Richard Sincere write in the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner article, “Charlottesville write-ins reveal voters’ allegiance, impishness“:
When 7,476 Charlottesville voters went to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, to cast ballots for state and local offices, some of them chose to bypass the established candidates and instead used the write-in option to express their opinions. Altogether 340 write-in votes were counted in the six contests on the ballot.
In the state senate race won by incumbent R. Creigh Deeds (D-SD25), there were only 13 write-in votes cast. Recipients included City Council candidate Bob Fenwick, local finance columnist David John Marotta, and hunter-locavore-author Jackson Landers.
In the same contest, “Nobody” and “Socialism” were written in.
House of Delegates
Twenty-nine write-in votes were cast in the contest for the House of Delegates, which was won by incumbent David Toscano (D-HD57). Among those receiving votes were Jefferson Area Tea Party leader Carole Thorpe, Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris, and local blogger Waldo Jaquith, who on the eve of the election suggested that political parties should have a rule that, if they cannot recruit a candidate for a public office, a party’s leaders should put their names on the ballot as a stand-in to provide at least some competition against the other party’s nominee.
David Marotta received another vote in this contest, as did local radio host Joe Thomas, founding father Thomas Jefferson, and Jesus. One vote was cast for “Parker Meadowcrik,” a reference to the long-controversial project to build the Meadowcreek Parkway. (Versions of that name also surfaced in the results for City Council.)
First I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to write my name into the ballot, especially if they included my middle name. I believe the practice of writing in protest votes, especially in uncontested elections, should be exercised regularly. I am happy to be a proxy for “None of the above”. And if the 59% of voters who failed to vote in the county or 74% who failed to vote in the city had bothered to show up and do the same I would have to choose which landslide of populist protest to accept. <smile>
Waldo Jaquith’s idea, “Let’s run party leaders in unopposed races” is a good one. In my case it would have greatly increased the number of votes I received. I would be willing to be used in such a proxy vote for either party. For the Democrat party I would be a Bourbon Democrat like Grover Cleveland. And for the Republican party I would be a Libertarian-Republican.
Finally, I suspect that several readers of this column would make better elected officials than some of our incumbents. You should seriously consider it. Especially if you have a plan to avoid the corrupting influence of holding the purse-strings for taxpayer’s money.