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Trump and Yellow Dog for school board?

Official vote tallies reveal wacky write-ins

Staff writer

While write-in candidates won 21 races across the county, many more names — real and fictitious — were written on ballots.

Countywide election results show a few fictitious names written on ballots for various elected offices.

In Peabody, 115-year-old “Peter Rabbit” received a vote for mayor. The character first appeared in a 1902 book and will star in a 2018 movie adaptation.

Peter Rabbit likely would not have won over many farmers, as he stole from a garden in his first book.

Even though none of his books are considered campaign literature, his most famous quote could be used as a campaign slogan: “Even the smallest one can change the world.”

Perhaps a campaign after his 2018 movie would improve his chances, or he could join forces with another animal receiving a write-in vote: “Yellow Dog.”

In the Peabody-Burns USD 398 school board race for position one, “Yellow Dog” was written on a ballot.

In political jargon, “yellow dog” applied to late 19th century Democratic voters in the southern United States who would allegedly vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican.

If “Yellow Dog” won, he or she wouldn’t be the first successful pooch politician.

In Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, a 3-year-old pit bull named Brynneth Pawltro was elected mayor for the fourth time in June. Rabbit Hash had a population of 315 in 2010. Animals have also won elected office in other towns.

Other write-ins outside of animals found their way onto ballots.

“Other” received write-in votes in Lost Springs for mayor and city council — if it had two more votes in the council race, it would have tied with two elected officials.

“John Doe” was another Lost Springs council race write-in, and that name also appeared on a Hillsboro USD 410, position three, school board ballot. That school board race also included “Donald Trump” as a write-in.

“Neither” was a write-in with one vote in both the Hillsboro mayoral race and for Florence City Council, second ward.

Hillsboro’s contested mayoral election may have inspired the one voter who wrote in Hillsboro mayor-elect Lou Thurston for Lehigh mayor. That vote put Thurston tied for second with three others, and only 15 votes behind the winner.

Some other real names appeared in multiple races, including Brandon Unruh as a write-in for all four contested school board races at USD 411. Roger Hannaford’s name was written in for all three USD 408 school board races, Marion County Lake improvement district, and Cottonwood Valley drainage district.

Outgoing USD 408 school board member Chris Sprowls received six write-in votes without running a campaign.

About 30 percent of registered voters participated in the Nov. 5 election, up from about 13 percent in the previous two local elections. This was the first fall local election since Kansas lawmakers moved local elections from the spring in an attempt to increase voter turnout.

Last modified Nov. 23, 2017

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