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The Best of UPUA Write-In Votes

It’s been less than a week since Anand Ganjam reeled in 4,498 votes to become the next student body president. However, he did not only need to defeat his two opponents — the likes of Joe Paterno and Darth Vader waged formidable yet unofficial write-in campaigns as well.

As is the case in just about any election, from national to student government, there are bound to be a few interesting write-in votes once the ballots are tallied. Here’s the best from the 2014 UPUA election, as provided by the Election Commission.


It’s no surprise that plenty of Penn State athletes, both current and former, were peppered throughout the UPUA votes. Christian Hackenberg was the leader, with four votes for at-large representative, a pair for UPAC representative, and somehow got one nod for the College of Engineering position.

Hackenberg wasn’t the only athlete on the ballot, of course. Adam Breneman, Bill Belton, Ed “Black Mamba” Ruth (the nickname was included on the ballot), and Sam Ficken all received votes. Some former football players, like Ki-Jana Carter, Michael Robinson, and Paul Posluszny were all written in.

Joe Paterno was a popular candidate on the ballot’s. He got three presidential votes, five at-large representative votes, and three UPAC votes. Jay and Sue made a few joint appearances as well.

Other interesting athletes were Rob Bolden, Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo, LaVar Arrington, Matt McGloin, and Todd Blackledge.

Oh, and “Success With Honor” got a vote for at-large too. And the Paterno statue earned a single UPAC vote.


There were your usual characters like Bart Simpson and Bender, a formidable presidential ticket write-in. The Nittany Lion and Bugs Bunny each waged solid campaigns as well. From Batman and Superman to Mickey Mouse and Catdog, cartoon characters held their own in this year’s election.

The dark horse villain write-in in this year’s election was Darth Vader. It seems that a group of students made a concerted effort to get Vader into office. The Star Wars villain received two president votes, 10 at-large votes, one Engineering vote, and seven UPAC votes.

Other notable characters on the list of write-ins included Bubbles from the Wire, Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys, Gob Bluth, The Philly Phanatic, Thor, Big Bird, Sonic the Hedgehog, Spongebob, The Kool-Aid Man, Tito from Rocket Power, and Walter White.

Penn State-related:

Our own Graham Spanier received four votes for at-large representative. On the bright side, he was balanced out by “409 wins,” Rod “Hard Rod” Erickson, “No Bowl Ban,” Damon Sims, and the Nittany Lion, who were all found on this year’s UPUA ballots for various positions. Tim Curley received a single vote for UPAC as well.

Celebrities and Everything Else:

Plenty of celebrities and well-known figures made their way into the UPUA election. Ronald Reagan, Ben Bernanke, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Dick Cheney, and Barack Obama all received multiple votes, so at least some real politicians made it onto the student government ballots.

The celebrities that made appearances include Chase Utley, Bono, Craig Ferguson, Bob Saget, Slim Shady, and “the actor who voiced Leonardo in the original TMNT cartoon,” naturally. And how could I forget that Based God got one vote too? But don’t worry, the most important celebrity of them all made the ballot as Chuck Norris gave the election a roundhouse kick to the face with his one UPAC vote.

A few historical figures made the ballot too, as Thomas Edison and Gandhi each earned votes.

And last but not least were the weird votes. Bear Man, Dookie Shoes, Get Wrecked, Satan, Nerdz, Top Hat, Trash Bag, and Wheat Thins were all written in. Sultry Bacon was my personal favorite vote on the ballot (a hidden message perhaps?). “Ur mom” and “my mommy” both got votes.

I’ll leave you with this one: “A banana who poops ice cream. A representative is like a mascot right?” Whatever that is received one presidential vote.

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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