No one expects Mickey Mouse to win elected office. It’s not his advanced age, diminutive height, or that squeaky voice. It’s the fact that he’s a fictional character.
Regardless, an assortment of voters pepper their ballots on election day with Mickey, usually followed down-ticket with his running mates, Donald and Goofy. For some, it’s a political statement or declaration of indifference. For others it’s a joke.
Voters can write in Mickey for nearly any office. But for more than 25 years, South Carolina voters have been banned from writing in a candidate for president, forced to pick one of the options given or not vote at all. Calls over the years to repeal the ban have fallen on deaf ears, yet another attempt has been introduced in this election year to give voice to Mickey’s supporters, or others with more than just a funny take on who the next world leader should be.
A review of write-ins on the ballot during the 2006 statewide elections provide a broad look at what may motivate voters to choose the unprompted option.
Most of the write-in ballots in Charleston County were obviously for a private laugh or to symbolize a complete ambivalence to whom the eventual winner would be.
Mickey was a frequent write-in for various offices, along with Fred Flintstone, Scooby-Doo, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Elmo. A Gamecock voted for Steve Spurrier, an Escape from New York fan voted for Snake Pliskin, and a stormtrooper voted for Boba Fett. Musicians both dead (Bob Marley and Jerry Garcia) and alive (Jon Bon Jovi and Merle Haggard) popped up.
The Lord and Bob Barker each got nods, and Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro also showed up on write-in lines. One voter even wrote in his Volkswagon’s VIN number, and somebody else voted for “My Dick.”