Philadelphia write-in candidate: I won with one vote

A Philadelphia resident was shocked to receive a letter Friday saying they won an election earlier in the month — apparently because no one else cast a vote.

“I literally yelled ‘what the hell’ when I opened the letter,” Phillip Garcia told The Hill. “I’ve written my name in a few times during elections when no one else is listed for a position. It’s just been a thing I do, with no expectation of, like, actually making an impact on the vote.”

Garcia, editor-at-large of The Rumpus and a Temple University Ph.D. candidate, tweeted Friday that the city had informed them of being elected as an election judge to serve on a board for Ward 21, Division 10 of the city, which covers parts of the Manayunk neighborhood.

“They say that one vote doesn’t matter, but I literally wrote in my own name and won an election because I guess no-one else ran/voted for this position,” Garcia tweeted Friday.

The city’s election results websiteshows Garcia’s new position as being won by a write-in candidate, with no name listed and three votes in the category. Garcia said two other candidates wrote their names on the ballot as well, but were likely declared ineligible to serve.

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt confirmed Garcia’s victory and vote total (1) in an interview Saturday, and said that many election judge positions are filled the same way.
“Frequently, candidates do not file petitions to have their names appear on the ballot, so that’s when we see write-in votes being decisive,” Schmidt told The Hill.
“A winner is the candidate who received the most write-in votes.”
Schmidt added that a total of 192 election judge positions were filled by write-in candidates in the Nov. 7 election.

Garcia said they were not informed of the victory until Dec. 1, almost a month after the Nov. 7 election.

“Part of me still feels like this is a mistake or prank,” Garcia added.