Follow @MarkBrownCSTUnhappy with their choice for President between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, many Chicago voters turned to the World Series champion Cubs for inspiration in the voting booth this year.
Among the more than 386,000 Chicagoans who cast ballots on touch screen machines for the Nov. 8 election, some 3,369 wrote in a candidate for president instead of choosing among the four names listed.
Theo Epstein, Cubs President of baseball operations, picked up 24 of those votes to lead the way among the baseball team’s personnel.
Manager Joe Maddon, second in the National League manager of the year voting, was also a runner-up among Cubs-themed presidential voters, getting 19 votes. He can rest easier knowing that bested Vice President Joe Biden’s 17 votes.
Kris Bryant may be the voting favorite for today’s MVP award, but only one Chicago voter thought he was ready for the presidency.
Follow @MarkBrownCSTSix individuals wrote in the name of Cubs’ first baseman Anthony Rizzo, while utility man Ben Zobrist got two votes.
Catcher David Ross received one vote, as did former Cubs’ goat Leon Durham and former manager Lee Elia.
Riding their current wave of Cubs’ popularity, comedian/actor Bill Murray got four votes and musician Eddie Vedder one.
I’m no fan of protest votes, but what’s done is done.
Most of the touch screen voting took place during early voting, which coincided with the Cubs postseason run.
On Election Day, another 721,000 Chicago voters cast paper ballots, but most of their write-in votes will never see the light of day. Election judges are only required to count the votes of official write-in candidates.
By contrast, all votes cast on touch screens are captured for posterity, and I was able to obtain a list of all the write-in votes cast.
Chicago voters wrote in hundreds of different names. I’ve just picked out a few.
Other Chicago sports figures getting a vote for president of the United States were Jimmy Butler, Michael Jordan, Ozzie Guillen and Paul Konerko. Even “Da Coach” Mike Ditka took a back seat to the Cubs, with just two votes.
Mickey Mouse, a perennial favorite of protest voters, showed up on 15 ballots for president. Donald Duck, always forced to play second fiddle, got three. Daffy Duck got one.
Kodos, an alien character from “The Simpsons,” won three votes, falling short of the six votes received by Vermin Supreme, a performance artist who wears a boot on his head and plays a presidential candidate.
Also receiving at least one vote each were: Arnold Palmer, Bozo the Clown, Bad Hombre, Beyonce, Brett Favre, Captain Crunch, Clint Eastwood, Darth Vader, Denzel Washington, Drew Barrymore, Dick Gregory, Harry Belafonte, Harry Potter, Hugh Jackman, Jimmy Kimmel, Kanye West, Karen Lewis, Lil Wayne, Lionel Messi, Martin Sheen, Richard M. Daley, Ronald McDonald, Superman and Tom Dart.
Many voters opted for former presidents, even dead ones. Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge each got a vote. George Washington got two, as did Ronald Reagan.
Failed presidential candidates were more popular. Mitt Romney got 77 write-in votes, Marco Rubio 37, John McCain 21, Jeb Bush 19, Ted Cruz 14, Rand Paul seven, Ben Carson six, Al Gore and Ralph Nader two each. House Speaker Paul Ryan received 124 votes, by my unofficial tally.
But far and away the biggest presidential write-in vote-getter in Chicago was Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic nomination to Clinton.
Some 1,393 Sanders supporters here made good on their threat to vote for him instead of Clinton, a subject on which I would have had much more to say if the outcome had been closer.