Writing the wrong: Calvin Coolidge highlights star-studded cast of SGA write-in candidates

Through a last-minute write-in campaign, I came within two votes of earning a spot as an engineering senator in the Student Senate, but I was nowhere near the top of the list of surprises in this year’s SGA election.

Write-in ballots are the crown jewel of our democracy. Despite write-ins almost never winning, the humor expressed in their casting is a timeless, publicly recorded embodiment of the issues facing a society.

With SGA elections results coming through Wednesday, we at The Sunflower have taken it upon ourselves to highlight some of the best write-in candidates featured on ballots submitted this year, per preliminary data from the Election Commission.

There were five humorless races in this year’s election. There were no glaringly obvious jokes among write-in candidates in the senate races for fine arts, health professions, applied studies, international, or graduate positions. If I listed a group that you’re a part of, shame on you. Have a heart!

Overall, among write-in candidates, Sunflower staffers shined brightly — receiving a grand total of 14 votes. Some other notable candidates tallying multiple votes included Donald Trump, Harambe, and Thanos (on the Perfectly Balanced As All Things Should Be ticket).

Although many races had single noteworthy write-ins, the at large seats had a particular draw for the dramatic votes. Personal favorites on this list include Calvin Coolidge, incoming WSU interim president Andy Thompkins, and Willie the Wildcat. Just a reminder for future elections: please vote for your own mascot before casting ballots for other Regents schools.

Jim “Mad Dog” Maddis, John Cena, and the late John McCain all received votes for veteran senator, but were easily outdone by incumbent Student Body Vice President Michael Bearth, who received more than 10% of the vote via the write-in.

Several names I would have expected, however, were completely left out this year. Not a single ballot was cast for Abraham Lincoln, despite Calvin Coolidge’s strong showing. Additionally, no cartoon characters were featured. Neither Bart Simpson nor SpongeBob Squarepants could be reached for comment on their apparent snub.

Notably, no Democratic politicians were featured on write-in ballots — despite the inclusion of Calvin Coolidge — in a Republican victory I’m dubbing the “Red Ripple.”

I know, I’m obsessed with the Coolidge thing, but honestly, it caught me off guard. Who the hell would choose Calvin Coolidge of all U.S. presidents to represent the student body? The stretch between Wilson and FDR is just so boring.

Overall, I’m somewhat disappointed with this year’s crop of write-in candidates. It seemed like only a couple of you were truly trying and that the majority of people thought it would be a good idea to do their “civic duty” and vote for a substantive candidate.

I expected more from all of you, and I hope I have much more content for this column next year. I’m relying on you — don’t let me, or the lizard people, down.

And if you wrote in Calvin Coolidge, please come forward. I need to know who would even consider him as a possibility. Please.