In the Fall 2012 elections, our district’s State Senatorial contest featured only a single unchallenged Republican candidate, Thomas O’Mara. Given Tompkins County’s progressive bent (our Mayor recently has started lobbying for legalization of marijuana), it seemed to be just downright wrong to be represented by the GOP.
Some friends and I, gathered for coffee and games, were discussing this; three days before the election. Our friend Mallory Roberts was there. I forget who suggested it, but the idea of voting him as a write-in candidate for that seat became a topic of discussion. He had business cards; on the reverse, he wrote something like “Vote me for State Seante, I am not evil.” We left them all over the coffee house and I think he left some at other locations nearby as well.
His campaign, as it were, was underway. (I have a few thoughts on this, if anyone else is interested in running as a write-in candidate, but I’ll save them till the end, at the bottom)
On election night, my friends and I were checking the local election progress. The state senatorial race was being updated, but only listed votes for registered candidates (O’Mara), “Write-ins” and total votes cast. There were actually a substantial number of write-in votes cast — I want to say about 10-15% by the end of the night. We were all very curious about how many Mallory got.
After the election, I realized that I could find this out, with a FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request. It was surprisingly easy, Tompkins County actually has a really convenient form for filing these requests. I was able to send my request, and get my response, electronically.
FOIL requests can be submitted for any public records. I was told mine would be filled by the Board of Elections, and would take approximately 3 weeks; I don’t know how long other requests would take. My request was free, but other requests may cost money, particularly if they require many hours of labor.
Below the jump are the details of my request along with the complete results of the write-in candidates for Tompkins County district NY State Senator.