City Council write-ins: What were you people thinking?

In political elections that allow voters to choose a write-in candidate, the inner wag in all of us is apt to awaken. The idea is to allow voters the opportunity to eschew the conventional, balloted candidates and exercise their rights as Americans to, by God, pick whomever they damn well please.

Xpress obtained a list of all the write-in votes in the recent Asheville City Council election, and despite the lofty notions behind the write-in option, we found that some voters used that blank line to prove themselves wiseacres.

For example, no less than Mortimer Snerd — the wooden, hayseed dummy of long-dead ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, pictured here — garnered a vote. (When told the news by Xpress, Snerd responded with a gratified “Nyuck! Nyuck!” and a roll of the eyeballs.)

But seriously, folks …  Snerd was but one of many write-ins—some serious, some not—who received votes. And the puppet’s lone vote paled in comparison to local talk-radio avatar Matt Mittan, who took a well-publicized stand against partisan elections and received a relatively whopping six votes—the most cast for any of the 64 write-in candidates, the vast majority of which received only one.

Many failed Council primary candidates also received write-ins, among them colorful street preacher Christopher Chiaromonte (three votes—maybe four or five; some names were mangled); Lindsey Simerly (four votes, ditto the name confusion); Matt Hebb (two votes); Bobby Johnston (one vote); Chris Pelly (one vote); William Meredith (three votes); and Selina Sullivan (two votes). UNCA political-science professor Bill Sabo garnered a respectable three votes.

Meanwhile, national faux newsman Stephen Colbert received a vote, as did the very deceased former president Franklin D. Roosevelt and the very much alive Republican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

In addition to Mittan, local media were well represented in the voting. Xpress contributing outdoors writer Bettina Freese got a nod from someone, as did the Asheville Citizen-TimesCedric Nash, Asheville Global Report‘s Eamon Martin, Daily Planet’s James Genaro and former Xpress staffer Cecil Bothwell.

And, finally, the write-in results point out at least one very disturbing trend: Lack of voter reading comprehension. Candidates Brownie Newman, Bryan Freeborn, Elaine Lite and Bill Russell each received a write-in vote, despite already appearing on the ballot.

— Hal L. Millard, staff writer


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14 thoughts on “City Council write-ins: What were you people thinking?

  1. I can only endorse the candidacy of Mortimer Snurd; he is far less of a blockhead than most of the current council.

    Besides, I’m old enough to remember Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, and Mortimer. They were always hilarious…. hmmm… so’s the city council but Bergen and his creations made sense. ;-)

    Yah. Mortimer for Mayor! “Nyuck! Nyuck!” that!

  2. I think it’s worth pointing out for the benefit of those in a somewhat lower age bracket that Edgar Bergen was a radio ventriloquist.

    Let that sink in. HE WAS A RADIO VENTRILOQUIST.

    See, even back in the golden age of radio America’s standards for entertainment were extremely low.

  3. Don’t make fun of the wooden dummy, or else Jenny Bowen will come on here and talk about the plight of the puppets. Nobody wants that.

    Well, maybe Jenny Bowen.

  4. travelah

    arratic … oh you have no imagination ….

    Charlie’s feud with W. C. Fields was a regular feature of the show.

    W.C. Fields: “Well, Charlie McCarthy, the woodpecker’s pinup boy.”

    W.C. Fields: “I love children. I can remember when, with my own little unsteady legs, I toddled from room to room.”
    Charlie: “When was that? Last night?”

    W.C. Fields: “Quiet, Wormwood, or I’ll whittle you down to a coathanger.”

    W.C. Fields: “Tell me, Charles, is it true that your father was a gate-leg table?”
    Charlie: “If it is, your father was under it.”

    W.C. Fields: “Why, you stunted spruce, I’ll throw a japanese beetle on you.”
    Charlie: “Why, you bar-fly you, I’ll stick a wick in your mouth, and use you for an alcohol lamp!”

    Charlie: “Pink elephants take aspirin to get rid of W. C. Fields.”

    W.C. Fields: “Step out of the sun Charles. You may come unglued.
    Charlie: “Mind if I stand in the shade of your Nose?”

    – from wikki

  5. sam

    This only proves my longstanding theory that Asheville is full of overly smug dolts who like to project their unsatisfying existence onto everyone else, like Jason Bugg.

  6. My existence is quite satisfying, Sam. Just today I read Superman comics and took a walk with my wife. Later today I will eat burritos and play with my cats.

  7. Nam Vet

    Mortimer would’ve been a better choice than Bryan Freeborn. :)

    WC Fields:

    “Ah yes…what do you mean I don’t like children? I do…cooked well-done!”

    “My rationale for not drinking water? Fish f*ck in it.”

    “I certainly do not drink all the time. I have to sleep you know.”

    “There are seven natural openings in the head and body. A lawyer is the only human being with eight. The extra one is a slot to store money in, should his bank be unable to hold all of it.”

    “Just looking for loopholes.”
    (Fields, reading the Bible on his deathbed.)

  8. Johnny

    Cream of Wheat is an excellent cereal product. I had a fabulous bowl this morning, with milk and brown sugar.

    Thanks for the opportunity to contribute!

  9. :::heeheehee:::

    I am tickled with Mortimer Snurd as a potential candidate. At least we would know he was a puppet from the get-go, rather than waiting to see whose hand was up his back years into the game.

    I should have written Jason Bugg in –
    the bantering that would go on between Bugg, Mumpower, and Jones would be nearly as good as a radio ventriloquism! Mind you, I said *nearly* as good. Probably more of a 3 stooges level of humor.
    Nyuck! Nyuck! Nyuck!

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