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Author Topic: Write-in for President  (Read 2918 times)

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Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Write-in for President
« on: October 18, 2011, 02:03:13 AM »
I'm not putting this up to endorse any particular candidate, and I would appreciate it if it's kept that way.  If you want to discuss your own personal favorite candidate, make another thread.  I just want to toss out a strange thought-problem that just winged through my brain.

What if a write-in candidate got the majority vote?

There have been 'joke' write-ins before - Howard the Duck and the All-Night Party, Bill and Opus, Cthulhu - even Mickey Mouse supposedly gets a measurable percentage of the ballots.  But what would happen if, through social-media viral advertising, some political unknown actually ended up capturing a solid majority of the popular vote, nationwide?

Offline Trieste

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 07:05:56 AM »
I think that would scare the crap out of both political parties. O_o

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 07:19:36 AM »
Yup.  And with the increasing discontent I'm seeing towards both parties, that's why it wandered through.

Offline Brandon

Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2011, 08:11:32 AM »
I think if such a thing were to happen it would spark the largest voter fraud investigation our nation might ever know. I just have a hard time seeing both parties accepting it without some kind of invasive federal investigation.

That aside, with the growing discontent I agree that it might not be far off. Problem is you need massive funds to run for president when you have a party backing you, likely even more so without one. Then theres what I would laughably call the debates which are not open forum to all candidates (they're by invitation)


Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2011, 08:19:15 AM »
But what do you need the massive funds for?  Advertising?  Social media is virtually free.  YouTube is free.  Dozens of low-cost website hosting options.  Campaigning?  Video conferencing via Skype.  That takes you down to whatever you need for necessary public appearances, which has got to be only a percentage of a typical campaign budget.  I've got no idea how much, and I'll probably end up looking it up after today's taxi session.  (Because it'll drive me nuts not knowing.)

It's thinking out of the box, to be sure, but in the modern age, there are a lot of opportunities that the 'Old Guard' may not use to its full effect.

Offline Torch

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 08:27:06 AM »
I think if such a thing were to happen it would spark the largest voter fraud investigation our nation might ever know. I just have a hard time seeing both parties accepting it without some kind of invasive federal investigation.


This. Just look at all the hoopla a few hanging chads caused.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 08:28:08 AM »
Thinking outside the box is where a lot of our innovations come from.  Nearly every major company is using or is exploring the use of social media for advertising and getting the consumer involved by making themselves accessible in the places where people are online. 

Traditional advertising in print and television/radio are still viable options but trending and Tweeting are something even traditional candidates have begun.

A viable candidate with a dedicated team to surf the internet and promote them in social media could very well run an effective campaign and create a noticeable dent in the numbers on election day.  Everything from electoral votes for president down to the smallest local election could be impacted.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 08:29:32 AM by Beguile's Mistress »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2011, 09:17:56 AM »
But if this guy came in all on his own (assuming it would be  a male, for the sake of simple grammar), well with a VP candidate who shared his ideas but without any real congress backing, how much would he be able to achieve? Obama has sort of run aground on congress in many ways, and I think you could say the same of Kennedy: much of what he wanted to get done got clogged on Capitol Hill, some of it was only achieved by Johnson, even though both Kennedy and Obama had a senate majority and Obama also had a majority in the lower house for his first two years. Without some steady support at the Hill, a president is rather crippled - unless you're thinking of a direct democracy - running over the internet, perehaps?

I suppose the premise is someone who has been around for some time, but who is not nationally known and who is outside of the political elite? You're not thinking of Forrest Gump or Joe the Plumber stumbling into the White House, are you?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 09:25:12 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2011, 12:59:32 PM »
I'm not thinking of anyone in particular.  If I had to pick an archetype it would be along the lines of 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,' rather than Forrest Gump (I go on classic movie binges.  Sue me.)  You're right that Congressional support is a true sticking point, but if it got that far, Congress would already be facing a rather sobering notion that the political machine had just grown a new gear.  Depending on the rotation, a certain percentage of the Congressmen would be facing re-election - and who knows what the new machine could do to them?

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2011, 04:17:57 PM »
As I said:

I'm not putting this up to endorse any particular candidate, and I would appreciate it if it's kept that way.  If you want to discuss your own personal favorite candidate, make another thread.  I just want to toss out a strange thought-problem that just winged through my brain.

Offline alxnjsh

Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2011, 07:42:32 PM »
I think it's a fun discussion...and happened in Minnesota.

Jesse the Body Ventura won governor election. It was mostly not because of his politics but because he was a popular wrestler that wore a pink feather boa. It was not a great time in Minnesota political history.

It would be impossible for a fictional write in candidate to win the U.S. presidency, we don't actually directly elect our president and just anyone can't win. Mickey Mouse for example does not meet the criteria set forth in our Constitution. ;)

--Must be a native-born U.S. citizen
--Must be over 35
--Must have physically lived in the U.S. for 14 years

But...what the heck kind of policies would we have if Mickey did win, LOL?!

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2011, 12:11:48 AM »
honestly it would be interisting for the person in question to get off the ground, make a serious dent via the internet, the Old Guard from the cold war days would kinda snap to attention especally guys like Karl Rove (I use him because he's a campain adivsor, washing insider, and looks like a ham loaf with glasses) who probably don't realize the power of social media.
funny thing is the canidate could talk to people via webcam, or chat with them in a billion other ways. with a dedicated and intelligent staff someone could do a number on the polls.

funny thing is the cathloic church realized this before any other political group... you can go the the vatacan website and there are scheduled times where the pope will chat with people online, that would be interisting with the pope hosting a chat room.
though I'm guessing spammers and flamers would be hit with the almighty ban-hamma of god really fast.
but if we did the same thing in our politics, actually chatted to the prez it might help the polotical situation a lot.

Offline elone

Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2011, 12:18:43 AM »
I got to thinking about the realities of this. Googled, and found a list of states (2008) and their requirements for accepting write-in votes. A handful of states have no requirements, about the same number do not allow it. So much for democracy.

Most states have a requirement that the candidates for President and Vice President register with the state elections office, and file papers that the candidates meet eligibility requirements. Some require lists of electors to send to the electoral college in the event the write in candidate wins. Some require petitions in every county of the state. There are many hoops to jump through.

God bless Wyoming, whose election official replied that since they have never had enough write in votes to matter they don't worry about it. But if they do, they will come up with an application.

So, it seems it may not be as easy as it looks. It is a great idea though, and with a little bit of organization it would work. Maybe the Supreme court would get involved in the states that do not allow write in candidates to be counted. Particularly if it would swing the outcome.

As a side note, I wrote my own name on a ballot in a local election once, surprise, my vote was not listed in the official tally. They apparently ignored it all together.

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2011, 12:27:28 AM »
Whether the candidate could actually get elected or not is beside the point.  A write-in campaign that garnered enough votes to make a statement would be awesome in most states.  It would be even more awesome if a candidate really could get elected.

Also, I think if you apply to the county you can get a copy of the complete election results which would include all write-in votes.

Offline elone

Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2011, 12:59:27 AM »
I agree completely that if a candidate got a lot of votes it would make a great statement, it might even scare the shit out of some politicians and make them more willing to do the will of the people. At least  that is my optimistic view.

The reality though is that a lot of people would look at writing in a name as throwing away their vote. If only they would realize that voting for the established parties is often just that.

I think what we really need is a system in which a third party candidate can easily get on a ballot, and a viable person to do that.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 01:01:38 AM by elone »

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2011, 01:24:10 AM »
The reality though is that a lot of people would look at writing in a name as throwing away their vote.

Two months ago, I would have agreed with this.  Now - I'm not so sure.

It would still take someone willing to step up to the challenge, though.  I'm pretty sure there isn't anyone who's even thinking about that yet.  I'm also sure I saw a quote somewhere about someone wanting to run for president meaning that they weren't the right person for the job.  :P

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2011, 01:25:15 AM »
Donald Duck regularly gets a scattering of votes at parliamentory elections in my neck of the woods, and probably in many countries. He's never had enough numbers to actually take a seat, though (not near the right numbers).  ;) In any case, even if Mr.Duck existed in real life he'd be ineligible outside of the U.S., as he wouldn't be a citizen.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2011, 01:52:12 AM »
Right.  A fair number of fictional characters do.  The obvious ones (Mickey Mouse is always popular) get tossed immediately, and may not even be counted.  If it looks like it could be a real name, though (the article I read gave the example of Bart Simpson), then it has to be counted.  By hand.  Which typically annoys someone.

I can imagine a scene in some little polling center, with the volunteers starting to enter the write-ins one at a time.  At first, everything is going as normal - then one person stops and looks back at a vote they've already counted.  They riffle through several of the ones waiting, confused.  They look up, and catch the eye of another poll worker, who has the exact same expression.  More people look up from the counting.  A supervisor asks what's going on, and gets shown the stack of ballots...

At this point, there would probably be a camera cut to a newspaper press or something, and Frank Capra would go into insulin shock from the sheer sappiness.   8-)

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2011, 02:39:25 AM »
That's interesting, the "it could be a real name" factor. With Kalle Anka (Donald Duck, in Swedish) it's not a name anyone would give their kid, even had it not been the name of a cartoon hero, but "Anka" (duck) could at least conceivably be the name of someone who's moved in from, like, the states. Actually, when Paul Anka's wife (now ex-wife) Anna Anka ("Anna Duck") became a tv celebrity over here by cutting a striking figure in a reality tv show on Swedish blonde bombshells in Beverly Hills, and writing a bunch of discussion pieces about what true women should be like (like herself, essentially, rich trophy blondes, and some of them were ghostwritten after someone had made an interview with her on the phone, to stir publicity for the tv show), well the first headlines about her made me wonder if this was some new character from Duckburg!  ;D

With "The Phantom", "Tarzan" or "Mickey Mouse" they are plainly names that could never be in a passport, so they'd get sorted out.

Of course we're talking protest votes here, in case there would be any kind of clear intention in voting for Donald. I'd rather "vote for Miles" as Miles Davis suggested in a song title.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 08:25:47 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2011, 02:14:57 PM »
I believe I am becoming cynical in my old age.  I admit, I am no expert on the Electoral College, but I think it prevents a write-in candidate from ever having a chance.  That's not the point, you say.  It is nice to think that the overwhelming majority of Americans talking with one voice would actually scare the politicians.  They know the game is rigged and as long as they can keep the pitchforks out of the mob's hands, they are golden.  If I am not mistaken, the general thinking is that people most likely to write-in someone would vote Democrat if forced to pick a party, so this exercise actually helps out the Republicans.

I think we need more substantial change than picking the lesser of two evils or even fooling ourselves that we can vote for who we really want to.  Again, I am far from an expert, but I see the root of the problem as money.  Regardless of the political system, the Golden Rule continues to apply.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2011, 02:40:29 PM »
Yeah, I'm waiting until next Saturday to see if the wind shifts.

Offline DudelRok

Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2011, 02:18:07 PM »
Because it amuses me: This

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2011, 08:48:54 PM »
It is not unfeasible that a independent could win the popular vote and win.   

Likely candidate that is currently holding office as an independent with  the money to actually wage an effective campaign  would be the New York city mayor Bloomberg.   

Or could be someone that has not shown a interest before in politics, such as Bill Gates who also would have the financial power to wage a campaign that would scare both sides.   

The electoral college vote is tied to the popular vote.  There are varying exceptions state to state.  Some states partial the vote based on percentage of popular vote.   While others have a winner take all.   

Finally the climate with the masses seems to favor more so this upcoming election a independent or third party making a strong challenge.   I for one really think that the Bible belt of the Republican party and the Tea party will have a hard time in mass getting behind a LDS.    An President Obama favorable rating is lower then Pres Carter was.   An he was swept out of office by Reagan.       So someone with money,  a public perception as strong, if not charismatic could capture the sentiment of the middle.   An where the middle goes is where the election goes.   

Finally if even with current conditions ripe for such, it is still a long shot for a third party or just an independent running.   However, it could be  a big year for the write in vote.   In such a way it could shake up both parties.    It could very well create a possibility that a winner could win with less then fifty percent of the overall popular vote. 

Just my thoughts on it more likely wrong,   but who knows.   


Offline Torch

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Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2011, 06:13:53 AM »
Or could be someone that has not shown a interest before in politics, such as Bill Gates who also would have the financial power to wage a campaign that would scare both sides.   

Ross Perot tried this already, with moderate success, receiving almost 19% of the popular vote (no electoral college votes, though).

Online Vekseid

Re: Write-in for President
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2011, 02:59:44 PM »
Ross Perot tried this already, with moderate success, receiving almost 19% of the popular vote (no electoral college votes, though).

He was winning before he quit and re-entered, though.

In a way, he did win, as his pet issue (the national debt) was seriously addressed during Clinton's term.