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Friday, 21 November 2008 07:41

Minnesota Senate Race Debacle Exposes Land of Bad Jokes and Lizard People

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by Meg White

I have to imagine that the worst audience for a comedian would be airport security guards and election judges. The Minnesota recount is putting the sense of humor of one of these staid groups to the test.

As Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reports, there are a couple of chuckle-worthy ballots being examined this week. In the interest of full disclosure, the ballot blooper closest to my Minnesotan heart was the voter who must have accidentally marked incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and then, realizing his/her terrible mistake, wrote "NO" in capital letters beside the senator's name.

 The favorite on the blogosphere, on the other hand, is a certain paranoid voter in Beltrami County. S/he used the enticingly empty space reserved for write-in candidates to advocate for the return of the Lizard People.

Some observers drew connections with the 1980s television series "V," Los Angeles and Dr. Who, but I immediately thought of David Icke.

Whatever the voter's intention, s/he marked challenger Al Franken's bubble in addition to the Lizard People, so the ballot got tossed as an "overvote."

So, let me break down the ultimate take-home message from Minnesota election judges to the Lizard People lover:

"This is Beltrami County, not Cook County.  This is not Mare Daley's Windy City: You don't get to vote twice! Also, you are not a member of Chicago's famously funny Second City Comedy Troupe. We find the attempt less than amusing."

 Well, at least public radio got the joke, sort of. In this next situation, I think I was the only one laughing. In another case of an overvote in the Senate race, a Ramsey County voter couldn't help but utilize that write-in spot, either.

MPR interpreted the scribble as "Bachmen," which they said referred to crazy ol' Rep. Michele Bachmann. To me, it looked like a reference to the lobbyists Coleman will bring to the Senate seat, if he makes it back to Washington: "Bad men."