The off-beat discoveries you find in write-in votes after an election

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Now that the dust from Election Day has settled, let’s take a look at the Bloomfield write-in votes from that election. Some people might say a write-in vote is a wasted vote, but don’t they tell us something about the wishes of the people? If you were fed up, the ballot box was the place to vote for Mickey Mouse. Yet decidedly, the write-ins this year weren’t all that amusing and mostly were honest-to-goodness names. What’s going on?

Although some people might think township Republicans should at least have nominated a placeholder for the office of Bloomfield mayor, thanks to write-in votes the seat of incumbent Mayor Michael Venezia did not go uncontested. A quick perusal of the tabulation sheets from the municipal clerk’s office showed the names of many write-in candidates for mayor who, probably unbeknownst to themselves, are wanted, at least a little. Perhaps they need an epiphany and here, hopefully, is a piece of it.

And in keeping with the spirit of Election Day and the way write-ins are printed on the tabulation sheet, the names or words will be uppercased. SATAN received a vote for mayor as did DICK CHENEY, ANYONE ELSE and ANYONEELSE. There were also votes for A REPUBLICAN and REPUBLICAN, but overall the write-in results were real names, suggesting the need for a real choice. Here are the top vote-getters with some well-known township names tossed in.

NOEL GATES received five votes, the most among the write-ins for mayor. A Google search did not locate anyone in Bloomfield with that name and there may very well be someone, but there appears to be an actress with that name. Mayor Noel Gates, where are you?
JAMES BOYDSTON, a one-time Bloomfield Republican candidate for freeholder, received four votes for mayor while former Bloomfield Councilman JOE LOPEZ, a Democrat, received three. Lopez has the distinction of having cast the last dissenting vote in the Council Chamber about four or five years ago.

BIKE LANES got three votes in the mayoral category and it is interesting to note that public issues will appear as write-ins. SLASH OUR HUGE TAXES, RETURN OUR PENSIONS and TAXATION IS ENSLAVEMENT were three that received a write-in in uncontested council races. Issues also appeared in the school board elections with TEACH KIDS — BIBLE GOD PRAYER, and TEACH KIDS — RESPECT PATRIOTS as write-ins, along with LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL DISEASE.

Getting back to the mayor’s race, SHANE BERGER, a Bloomfield Board of Education member, received two votes, as did someone named MATT BOOKER. A search discovered a number of people with that name; the most relevant, it seems, was a Bloomfield High School student recognized as a “Character with Character” six years ago. Two votes went to JULIO RAINFORD, a name which appears in a Bloomfield search as a Costco employee.

Getting single mayoral write-ins were DAVID G. TUCKER, a former GOP mayoral candidate; LOUISE PALAGANO, the municipal clerk; MARIA PROBST, the publisher of a popular township blog and Patricia Gilleran, a Bloomfield activist.

Also in the mayoral contest with single votes were MY DOG CHANCE, BAD HOMBRE, DONALD TRUMP and MICKEY MOUSE. There is definitely something going on when Mickey Mouse receives fewer votes than the number of fingers he has — three. There were other write-ins that had voters whispering into the ears of clueless flesh-and-blood candidates, but the results for now will remain uncertified.