"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 13 November 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Ballot Designs Rejected by the Palm Beach County Election Committee


The Chinese Menu Ballot
Piles of Chinese Menu Ballots show up at the voter's door. Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates are chosen one from Column A and one from Column B. The vote is then phoned in and the winning candidate is delivered pan-fried or steamed. Voters who are dieting may choose instead to use the Chinese Astrology Ballot. Votes are cast by selecting the animal whose characteristics most closely match the candidate's.

The Cocktail Napkin Ballot
You write down the name of your candidate using a pencil or a felt-tip pen, put your drink down on it until it smears, and then hand it to the hot election official sitting near the exit.

The Ransom Note Ballot
Voters are provided with a stack of magazines and newspapers. They must cut out the letters that spell their candidate's name, glue them to an index card, and put the card in an envelope before placing it in the ballot box.

The MAD Magazine Trifold Ballot
It's a picture of the American eagle, until you fold it over on itself in thirds, whereupon it reveals a list of the candidates.

The Wheel of Fortune Ballot
The names of the candidates appear as a series of blank squares. As the voter guesses letters, the squares are turned around and eventually spell out the name of the candidate. (If the voter is a major shareholder in a tobacco company or a member of the executive board of an HMO, he or she may buy a vowel.)

The Train Schedule Ballot
The Train Schedule Ballot changes throughout the day. During peak hours, the ballot is an Express, and third-party candidates cannot be voted for. To vote for a third-party candidate, you must wait for the Local.

The Hand Pinball Ballot
This ballot is in the form of a cheap plastic toy which depicts the faces of all the candidates on a colorful board under a shallow, transparent plastic dome. Holding the ballot in one hand, the voter must carefully manipulate it so that a small ball bearing falls into the hole in the board corresponding to the desired candidate. Whichever hole the ball bearing falls into is binding.

The Blow-in Card Ballot
The ballot comes inside the voter's favorite magazines, reeking of perfume. The voter may choose to elect a candidate for one year, two years, or three years. If the voter is not completely satisfied with any candidate, the candidate's term of office may be canceled at any time for a full refund. A "Bill Me after January 14" option is provided.

The Columbia House Ballot
Choose the style of candidates you prefer. (For an additional one cent you get 11 congressional seats.) Each month you will receive a ballot asking if you want your candidate to remain in office. If yes, do nothing, and the candidate's term will continue. If no, you must return the card within ten days.

The VCR Programming Instruction Manual Ballot
To vote for your candidate, push the Play button repeatedly until the word Exit appears on the screen. If you change your mind, press the Channel Minus button to return to the Main Menu.

The Florida Alligator "Wish You Were Here" Postcard Ballot
Voters go down to the drugstore and buy a postcard. Then they write the name of their candidate on the back and mail it to an out-of-state relative. Relatives are asked to return the cards to the Election Committee.

The Magic Eye Ballot
Voters are confronted with a set of color pictures that at first seem to be random dot patterns. After staring at the pictures, some voters will be able to discern the candidates' faces in 3-D.


courtesy of Club Havana


pictures Terry Colon

Club Havana