A fun and informative voting day in 2016. I Occupied Write In 27 times on a single ballot. Edged out the previous record of 26 in 2004. That means, 27 Wasted Votes Recycled on 1 ballot. Almost all of these were to oppose the unopposed judges. The best part of the Occupy Write In approach is that I got to cast 27 protest votes and preserve my votes for President, State Rep, and MN Supreme Court. Occupying Write In enhanced the value of my ballot and spoiled nothing. Not bad for an early morning without coffee. I encourage everyone to join me.
The down side was that the Election Judges were quite adamant that I NOT snap a picture of my completed ballot. Even when I offered to sign a statement promising not to post the photo until after the official results of election 2016 have been certified, it was still a no go. It’s too bad, because the flip side of my ballot was a glorious sight. “ART TEMPLE” shared the repurposed write in space with #NoDAPL, #BLM, and #OccupyWriteIn. A thing of beauty, it made one of the Election Judges laugh out loud when I showed them why I wanted to take a picture.
I also found out that it is NOT allowed to vote with a rubber stamp. That question stumped the Election Judges working the front of the house, so I had a short sit-down with the Precinct Judge behind the scenes. She explained that write in votes must be hand written, or they would not be counted. I reminded her that few write in votes are counted in any case. She smiled and told me that a ballot covered with stamped votes would likely be challenged and tossed if any race came down to a hand recount. As I worked out the cramp in my writing hand, I figured that was a risk worth taking. After all, that’s how the Lizard People constituency gained recognition. Next time.
I urge all of you to Occupy Write In on your ballot. You have nothing to lose. Then, in lieu of a photo, post a list of your protest votes and how many votes you manage to recycle. If you have a few minutes to spare, ask the Election Judges a few questions about taking pictures, using rubber stamps, why unopposed races are even on the ballot, or any other impertinent questions you might have about the process. Be nice. Be funny. Make sure that you speak loudly enough to allow the people waiting in line to hear your conversation.
Above all – GET OUT AND VOTE. Whether you Recycle Wasted Votes or not.