Voters write in almost 1,500 unique names
(WBIR - Knoxville) Fred Flintstone for judge? What about Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Newman, rapper Eminem, or actor-comedian Danny Devito?
Perhaps, Stephen Colbert would make a good choice. Or a statement, anyway.
What about Mickey Mouse, Bozo the Clown, or even Bruce Pearl?
Those were just a handful of the 1,466 unique names that Knox County voters took the time to write in as candidates on Tuesday's ballot, according to 74-page list that election officials provided to WBIR 10 News.
Some were serious, others obviously a joke. A few voters delved into the history books and others touched on entertainment to make their selections. And then there were a number of suggestions that were just too lewd, crude, and rude for online news and television broadcast.
"The important thing is that it shows that everybody's vote is recorded," said Cliff Rodgers, the county's administrator of elections.
Those votes, however, didn't actually count, because none are certified as an official write-in candidate.
Still, Rodgers said it proves his crew is doing its job.
"Some people will (write in a name) and then call and ask us for the results just to check to see if it's on there," he said. "I've never had anyone call me back and say the write-in that they cast wasn't on."
The county mayoral race, which featured an unopposed Tim Burchett seeking re-election, garnered the most unique names with 188 that accounted for a combined 255 votes. Of course Burchett didn't have anything to fear. With no competition, he got 20,537 "real" votes, according to the unofficial results.
That, however, didn't stop some folks from having a little fun.
Big Foot, Big Foot Burchett, Dog, Duffus, Homer Simpson and a famous Florida rodent all received votes in that race.
As did Justin Beiber (sic), local radio personality Dave Foulk, state Rep. Gloria Johnson and Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.
Ronald McDonald, Pat Summitt, Obama, Satan, A Monkey, A libertarian, Sasquatch, Snoopy, Vote for Tommy and Smokey also made the cut.
In the register of deeds contest, folks voted for Spong (sic) Bob, fictional mob boss Tony Soprano, Howdy Doody, Ice Bear Fans, Ice Bear Fan (must have only been one of them) and Elmo (of tickle me fame).
No Thanx (sic), Someone Smart, Walter the Bulldog and Godzilla (hey, he's got a new movie coming out next week) were picked to run the Board of Education.
Looney Tunes characters, particularly Elmer Fudd and Daffy Duck, also made the cut in several political battles.
In judicial races, voters made sure Jedi master Yoda was accounted for, as well as former rocker Kurt Cobain, the X-Men's Wolverine, fictional pirate Jack Sparrow, and Black Sabbath!
Local attorneys Don Bosh and Dennis Francis, and former presidents Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton (and wife Hillary) also brought in a few numbers. As did Darth Vader (more like judge, jury and executioner) and Peter Parker (but no Spider-Man).
God showed up quite a few times throughout the election (probably in more ways than one) as did "Unopposed Unacceptable."
Two great literary figures of our time – Mark Twain and Mike Donila – also received votes, although there are allegations that Donila might have cast one of those ballots himself.
James Bond and Oprah Winfrey were tapped to serve on the County Commission; someone picked tough guy and martial artist Chuck Norris for sheriff; and Rick Grimes (a "Walking Dead" survivor) got the nod for the criminal court clerk seat.
More favorites included: Any, Anyone, Anyone Else, Anyone But, Any Body But This Idiot, None, None Of The Above, Nota, Other, IP Freely, Your Mom, Not Eddie, Heavy, No, No Bur, No Way, Not Him, Qbert and Buzzz.
Strangely, two regulars who usually make the write-in cut – Yellow Dog and Ted Nugent – were nowhere to be found.
'Course Nugent hasn't had a hit in years.
The next local election is set for August.
Expect the fun to continue then.