Thursday, November 20, 2008

Voter Switches from Al Franken to 'The Lizard People' in Minnesota

I was unable to speak when I saw this real ballot in the Coleman-Franken Minnesota Sentate race on Chris Matthews' Hardball tonight...



Clearly, this Minnesota voter changed his or her vote from Al Franken to The Lizard People. Minnesota Public Radio today offered the following helpful details...

This Beltrami County voter cast their ballot for Al Franken, but also put "Lizard People" as a write-in candidate, not only in the U.S. Senate race, but for several others. The county auditor/treasurer ruled that the vote should not be counted because it's considered an overvote. Representatives for Franken challenged that decision. (MPR Photo/Tom Robertson)


Two important points -

1. Even though a radio is involved in this report, it is not a "War of the Worlds" Orson Welles hoax - this ballot was really cast.

2. Although I do want Al Franken to win, it could be even more important to determine who, exactly, are "The Lizard People," and why this "Beltrami" voter wrote in their name...

Theories abound -

a - Reports of The Lizard People go back at least as far as 1933, Los Angeles...

b - On the science fiction side, there may be a Dr. Who connection ...

c - But, my favorite, and what I see as most likely, explanation hearkens back to Ken Johnson's brilliant 1982 V mini-series. In an age just before cable, this hard-hitting series of invading reptile aliens who took the shape of humans - but still swallowed mice whole and live as snacks - was just the thing for an audience starved and hard-bitten for good science fiction on television. V's sequel mini-series and then regular series were not quite as good, but all-in-all the V saga provided a much needed bridge between Star Trek: The Original Series, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, the new Battlestar Galactica and all the great science fiction that we now know so well...

So what was that "Beltrami" voter trying to tell us? I believe it was a plea for V - possibly a play on words on the "V" in True Blood, short for vampire blood, which in that series is a powerful drug - but more likely a shout-out for Kenneth Johnson's 2008 novel, V: The Second Generation, which came out this past February ...







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