Stephen Colbert’s run for president ended earlier this month after Democrats in South Carolina refused to put him on the primary ballot. Now, a second disappointment: he will not be allowed to participate in a runoff for a seat on the board of the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District in Williamsburg, Virginia, although he is in a three-way tie for second.
Colbert and two others (both students at the College of William and Mary) each received three write-in votes in the November 6 election. Under local rules, the tie will be broken by drawing a name out of a hat, but Colbert will not be included because he’s not registered to vote in Virginia.
Matt Beato, a student at William and Mary, was quoted as expressing concern about the write-in process, possibly because he was one of the two students in the race. (The article doesn’t identify him as such, but it’s hard to see any other reason why someone would be interested in an election for the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District Board, unless it’s the fancy office.) "I’m not crazy," Beato said, "but any nut case could win with three votes." (The "I’m not crazy" disclaimer also seems to support the idea that Beato was a candidate.) "Somebody should make sure that doesn’t happen."
Colbert has not yet commented on this travesty, as far as I can tell, but another candidate has. A comment posted on the Comedy Central website, purporting to be from a fourth and winning candidate, Gregory Hancock (who claims 1050 votes), clarifies that Colbert is in a three-way race for second place and that the drawing will determine only who can participate in a runoff with the winner, namely him. It’s a pretty good post:
As the one (and only…) candidate on the ballot for the two Soil and Water Conservation Board Director positions here in Williamsburg, I’d like to commend Mr. Colbert on his well-organized write-in campaign that resulted in his second place finish (he got 3 votes, I got 1050). As I am sure Mr. Colbert knows, there are few elected positions with as much influence on the daily lives of Americans as Soil and Water Conservation Board Director. We are constantly called upon to make the tough decisions on issues that weigh heavily on the nation, like which winter cover crop to grow this year or whether pickerel rush is a good choice for wetland plantings. I am sad that a silly technicality requiring candidates to be a resident of Williamsburg stood in the way of his being elected to the board. Were it not for this, he could have participated in a runoff with the two undergraduate students . . . But, perhaps Mr. Colbert will consider moving to Williamsburg to establish residency before the next election in 2010. It is never to early to begin campaigning, and I’d be happy to help advise him on making a successful bid for Soil and Water Conservation Director.