Elections

Write-ins protest Palazzo - and the presidential field in Jackson County

RICHARD DREW/ASSOCIATED PRESS 
 Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman recieved a vote in Jackson County.
RICHARD DREW/ASSOCIATED PRESS Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Neuman recieved a vote in Jackson County. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Did someone believe a punk rock singer turned Green Party presidential candidate from San Francisco would serve the constituents of the 4th Congressional District better than incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo?

In the alternate universe of Jackson County write-in votes, the answer is yes.

Jello Biafra, who fronted the Dead Kennedys in the late '70s, finished second to Ralph Nader in the 2000 Green Party presidential race. Someone wrote him in on the Democratic ticket in Jackson County during the March 8 party primary.

Fortunately, about the only time write-ins count is when a candidate dies before the election and since Palazzo and Democrat Mark Gladney were unopposed, they advanced to meet in the November general election.

But that didn't stop an unusually high number of voters -- hundreds in both Jackson and Harrison counties -- from writing in their preferences.

Tavish Kelly, who ran against Rep. Steven Palazzo in the 2014 GOP primary, got a vote, as did RayDog1985 and Trooper the Dog. Perhaps it is the year of the canine.

"Steven Palazzo" and "Steve Paloza" were written in as Democrats, too.

Kelly hinted at a somewhat organized effort to send a message to Palazzo, who Kelly and others say isn't conservative enough to represent South Mississippi. "Our little protest was noticed," Kelly said on Facebook. "Write-in votes will be available to view at the end of the month."

In most other counties, ballots will be sealed until March 29. But because elections are almost fully digital in Jackson County, Election Commission Chairman Danny Glaskox was able to print the write-in results for the Sun Herald on Wednesday.

In the GOP presidential race, Bernie Sanders got a vote, as did Hillary Clinton (or in one instance, "Hillery Climton." "Need Better Selectio" was written in by someone who apparently needed more room to write. "Stone Cold Steve Aus(tin)" didn't quite fit either.

Clearly, some voters were having too much fun on the Republican side, where Palazzo was unopposed.

"My Dog" got one write in, as did "A Blind Monkey" and Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine fame.

Various incarnations of "Anybody Else" were written in.

Barney Fife got a single vote to match his single bullet. Bozo the Clown got a couple. Batman and The Hulk tied among superheroes. People obviously thought state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who flirted with running, should have run.

Biloxi Councilman Robert Deming, who dropped out at the last minute, got votes.

Elvis and Eminem received one each. And former Rep. Gene Taylor, who lost to Palazzo in 2010 and 2014, got a bunch. Jimmy Buffet got one, to go along with his Pascagoula bridge. Then there was one for Ted Nuggent (Nugent) who probably tacks to the right of Palazzo.

And for the sports fans, there was one for Pete Rose and one for Nick Saban.

Satan also got one, which was more than canceled out by one for Jesus.

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