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article imageHow Charles Darwin won 5,000 votes for Congress

By Tim Sandle     Nov 14, 2012 in Politics
As part of a write-in campaign against the incumbent Congressman Paul Broun, Charles Darwin received almost 5,000 votes following a Facebook led protest against Broun’s anti-science credentials.
Although Charles Darwin, the naturalist and ‘father’ of the theory of evolution, is associated with the nineteenth century he still managed to gain more than 4,000 voters in the recent congressional race in Athens-Clarke county, Georgia.
According to Science Insider, Darwin’s votes were attributed to a campaign organized by a local scientist called James Leebens-Mack (a plant biologist at the University of Georgia in Athens). Leebens-Mack had an issue with the incumbent, Congressman Paul Broun (R), who had delivered a speech in a local church denouncing evolutionary theory, embryology, and the big bang theory. Oddly, Broun sits on the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
For his protest, Leebens-Mack set up a Facebook page called “Darwin for Congress,” inviting people to vote for the great British naturalist as a write-in candidate against Broun, who ran unopposed for re-election.
In the event, Broun won. Broun's office issued a statement on Friday, according to Reuters, that did not directly address Darwin, saying that the congressman "looks forward to representing the ... constitutional conservative principles" of his constituents.
Whilst Broun comfortably won with 16,980 votes in Athens-Clarke county, the long-dead Darwin picked up a relatively high number of votes (4,950 at the last count). Darwin could not have won, however. Georgia, according to the Slate, like many other states, does not count votes for write-in candidates who have not filed a notice of intent to stand for election.
More about Charles Darwin, Evolution, Congress, Election 2012
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