November Election Write-Ins Show Differing Attitudes of Columbus Voters
In the November 5 general election in Columbus, there were 5,262 write-in votes for Mayor Ginther’s unopposed run for re-election in the City of Columbus.
According to records provided by the Franklin County Board of Elections, the uncertified candidates written in as alternatives to Mayor Ginther included local leaders and figures, Republican politicians, cartoon characters, and others. This is in addition to the 444 votes cast for certified candidate Jeffrey Lee Leopard, an apprentice contractor from Cardington, Ohio.
For comparison, in the 2015 general election for mayor, in which Ginther ran against Democratic candidate Zach Scott, just 1,661 votes were cast for write-in candidates.
Among the write-in votes for mayor this year were former Mayor Michael Coleman, former Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo, drag artist Nina West, former Ohio Governor John Kasich, Twitter personality Senator Meow, and poet Scott Woods.
The latter two received 195 and 543 votes, respectively. Though neither ran formal campaigns, both called for people to direct their votes away from Ginther on social media.
Columbus Underground Co-Founder Walker Evans also managed to get two write-in votes.
Likely as a response to Mayor Ginther being the sole, Democratic candidate on the ballot, voters also wrote in Republican politicians like President Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Many more cast a vote for simply “any Republican,” and one conjured up the dead with a write-in for “The Ghost of Ronald Reagan.”
As seen in other elections, voters cast votes for fictitious characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Scrooge McDuck, and Mr. Poopybutthole of the animated adult comedy Rick and Morty.
The ability for voters to write-in candidates also provides a soap-box for some, giving the opportunity to express their opinion instead of casting a vote for any one candidate. Some of the most damning write-ins included: “Jeffrey Epstein was murdered,” “No more developers,” “Rob Dorans is a class traitor,” “Maintain Rec Centers Better,” “Our Mayor is a crook,” and “Taxation is Theft.”
For more information, visit vote.franklincountyohio.gov.