Astute readers will have noted that New Hughes has not been promoting our long-running Occupy Write In campaign as vociferously as in the recent past. Particularly 2016. For the most part this is because we have shifted focus away from elections and toward issues in 2018. Besides, unlike the plethora of municipal races in Minneapolis during the 2017 election, campaigns for statewide offices and legislature get plenty of attention already. That said, I do regret not following through on the proposed Hennepin County Board Project. I should have listened to myself and done for that Board what I did for the Minneapolis Parks abd Recreation Board (MPRB) in 2017. Specifically, make more votes and constituents aware of the scope and power of the Board. I’ll be voting for Angela Conley. Peter McLaughlin has had enough time to do all the things he is promising in 2018. Time for new people, new ideas, new perspectives, and new energy.

I will also be Occupying Write In. This is a subversive method to recycle the votes on your ballot that you consider to be waste. I focus on races with only 1 unopposed candidate because those are clearest example of a Wasted Vote in dire need of recycling. In Minnesota and other states that include a write in option for every race, there is a lot of room to repurpose and reuse. By occupying that space with hashtags and other acronyms and promoting through social media, it may be possible to add votes to every ballot without “spoiling” those races each voter is serious about.

Imagine if social and political interest groups organized supporters to use the same set of words to Occupy Write In. How might the status quo, business as usual, post-election narrative be redirected?

Unlike most protest votes, Occupy Write In has no effect on the votes you consider important. All we want is your open mind to consider using the space on the ballot that you would otherwise leave blank or fill in blindly. You’ve already made 99% percent of the effort to vote, now is your chance to be that 1% and Occupy Write In.