News & Politics

Alexandria Voters Wrote in Larry Hogan, Patton Oswalt, and “A Slice of Toast”

Photograph via iStock.

Joe Biden overwhelmingly won the vote in Alexandria: He got 80.28 percent to Donald Trump’s 17.63 percent, according to preliminary results from Virginia’s Department of Elections (which meets Monday to certify the state’s vote). But this being a locality where the phrase “Leave a Comment” should be on the city seal, Alexandria’s write-in votes for President, US Senate, and US House are always worth reading.

Virginia localities only report write-ins to the Department of Elections if a candidate receives more than 10 percent of the vote. US Senator and former Republican nominee Mitt Romney came the closest: He got 62 votes, nearly 9 percent of the city’s 702 write-ins for the country’s highest office but only .075 percent of the city’s total votes for President.

Other Republicans who got fantasy votes: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (33 votes, including one for him to be Mike Bloomberg’s Vice President), Nikki Haley (30 votes), Ben Sasse (24 votes), and Maryland resident Paul Ryan (20 votes). US Senator Chuck Grassley showed surprising strength at four votes.

US Senator Bernie Sanders got 44 votes, and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins, who was not on the ballot, got 38 votes for President in Alexandria. Other Democrats who ran for their party’s nomination notched some votes: US Representative Tulsi Gabbard got eight votes, the same number as Andrew Yang, US Senator Elizabeth Warren received seven votes (including one for Sanders to serve as her veep), and Pete Buttigieg got six write-ins. In the race for US House, which incumbent Don Beyer won with almost 76 percent of the vote, some local politicians earned write-ins: Alexandria councilmember Mo Seifeldein received four write-ins; and current and former mayors Justin Wilson and Bill Euille got three votes apiece.

But let’s be honest, you’re reading this to read about the weird votes. Kanye West was the most electable representative of the world of entertainment for Alexandria, receiving 17 votes for President (including one impressively misspelled as “Kanye Wert”) and one for Senate. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson received three votes, and Sterling, Virginia’s own Patton Oswalt received one vote for President, as did “Babe the Pig.”

Among media figures, David French ran away with Alexandria’s vote, earning three votes compared to one measly vote for Ramesh Ponnuru. One person voted for “Stephanie Cupp” for Senate, perhaps a reference to former Alexandrian S.E. Cupp (whose first name is actually Sarah, and who tells Washingtonian “I’m not sure that was meant for me. But if it was, I’m flattered!”). Joe Rogan got one vote.

“None of the above” and variations thereof did well, as usual. Among the better examples of alienation in the US Senate race, which Mark Warner won with 79 percent of the vote: “A Slice Of Toast”; “Don’t Know Them Choose”; and “Neither McNeitherofthem.”

As in Larry Hogan’s ballot for President, the dead received the votes of several households’ worth of Alexandrians: President Reagan got 16 votes for President—one for Biden to serve as his veep—and two for US House; and John McCain, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant got one vote each.

Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence received 11 votes for President, including one from a potentially interesting person who would like him to be Biden’s veep.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.