The Collective
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Ed at Votelaw points to a post at TPMmuckraker which notes:

After Tom DeLay dropped out last week, the Texas GOP was forced to try a Hail Mary, throwing their support behind a write-in candidate. But the candidate’s name — Shelley Sekula-Gibbs — may be a problem.

The problem is that spelling could be an issue in deciding whether to count a given vote in the write-in campaign, and moreover, that the 22nd uses an electronic device for voting (a picture of the device in provided in the post). The voting machine demo doesn’t even have enough spaces to fit “Shelley Sekula-Gibbs” onto the screen–although the story notes that the actual machines allegedly have enough spaces.

Nonetheless, the TPMmuckraker succinctly notes that:

Keep in mind that control of Congress may well hinge on this race. Which means the direction of the country could rest on whether or not enough Texas Republicans can remember a 20-letter hyphenated name and spell it using an awkward trackwheel device.

And the fun begins.

Of course, I still think that Lampson will win with sufficient votes to avoid SpellingGate in November.

I will predict this: a massive write-in campaign using “an awkward trackwheel device” will likely mean long, slow-moving lines in Sugar Land on election day.

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Filed under: 2006 Elections, General, US Politics | |


  1. If your name is “Shelley Sekula-Gibbs” and you’re running as a write-in candidate, I would submit that you’ve proven yourself too dumb for office. Wouldn’t it be a lot simpler to run as “Shelley Gibbs”? Ideally, as “Shelly Gibbs,” but one can understand not wanting to undo one’s parents’ unfortunate spelling at that stage of life.

    Comment by James Joyner — Wednesday, August 23, 2006 @ 8:22 am

  2. How about Shelley “Grandma” Sekula-Gibbs?

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Wednesday, August 23, 2006 @ 8:28 am

  3. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, Write-in Candidate for Texas-22

    Steven Taylor has a good roundup and analysis of the uphill fight Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is going to have as a write-in candidate for the seat formerly held by Tom DeLay.
    The problem, as Paul Kiel notes, is a combination of the archane rules for countin…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB — Wednesday, August 23, 2006 @ 8:32 am

  4. So, what happens if DeLay wins? He’ll still be on the ballot, and will get a fair number of votes just from name recognition and some Texan’s “I ain’t votin for no Democrat” sentiment.

    In my state of KY if the winner can’t take office a new election is held. Will they go to the 2nd place finisher? Hold a new election? Sue everybody in sight?

    Comment by Buckland — Wednesday, August 23, 2006 @ 1:17 pm

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