Dead man winning

The voters of Union County in North Carolina, in their infinite wisdom, have elected a corpse. Okay, the position on the soil conservation board was not a headline—grabbing race. But, ahem, shouldn't the board of elections have, umm, noticed? From the Charlotte Observer:

Union County elected a man who died last month to a little—known environmental post with more than 12,000 votes Tuesday.

More people voted for Sam Duncan, who died Oct. 7, than anyone else in the race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. He got more votes than two living candidates, including the board's chairman, Warren Case.

Some people familiar with the board said its obscurity make elections unpredictable.

"The soil conservation district is not a high—profile election," said Osco Jackson, who served on the board for 10 years before being ousted in 2004. The job comes with no salary, and few people campaign.

"Most people are not aware of the candidates; they just vote by name," Jackson said. He also said Duncan's name was well—known in the county for his work in the agricultural community and for his cooking with a catering business.

The practice of dead people voting is far from unknown. And dead people's names sometimes remain on the ballot, as when Mel Carnahan of Missouri died and his wife succeeeded to his Senate nomination, though there was no time to change the actual ballots.

But this particular death seems to have attracted no official attention. Apparently Mr. Duncan was not that well—known.

I am not going to allow my disappointment with Tuesday's results compromise my commitment to democracy. But I would prefer that ridiculous situations like this be avoided. I am certain our friends in the radilcal Islamic community will have their fun with this. Caliphs generally don't make such errors.

Hat tip: Alan Teitelman

Thomas Lifson  11 9 06

The voters of Union County in North Carolina, in their infinite wisdom, have elected a corpse. Okay, the position on the soil conservation board was not a headline—grabbing race. But, ahem, shouldn't the board of elections have, umm, noticed? From the Charlotte Observer:

Union County elected a man who died last month to a little—known environmental post with more than 12,000 votes Tuesday.

More people voted for Sam Duncan, who died Oct. 7, than anyone else in the race for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor. He got more votes than two living candidates, including the board's chairman, Warren Case.

Some people familiar with the board said its obscurity make elections unpredictable.

"The soil conservation district is not a high—profile election," said Osco Jackson, who served on the board for 10 years before being ousted in 2004. The job comes with no salary, and few people campaign.

"Most people are not aware of the candidates; they just vote by name," Jackson said. He also said Duncan's name was well—known in the county for his work in the agricultural community and for his cooking with a catering business.

The practice of dead people voting is far from unknown. And dead people's names sometimes remain on the ballot, as when Mel Carnahan of Missouri died and his wife succeeeded to his Senate nomination, though there was no time to change the actual ballots.

But this particular death seems to have attracted no official attention. Apparently Mr. Duncan was not that well—known.

I am not going to allow my disappointment with Tuesday's results compromise my commitment to democracy. But I would prefer that ridiculous situations like this be avoided. I am certain our friends in the radilcal Islamic community will have their fun with this. Caliphs generally don't make such errors.

Hat tip: Alan Teitelman

Thomas Lifson  11 9 06