ATHENS, Ga. — Charles Darwin, the 19th century naturalist who laid the foundations for evolutionary theory, received more than 4,000 write-in votes in Athens-Clarke County in balloting for the 10th Congressional District seat retained Tuesday by five-year incumbent Republican Paul Broun.
A campaign asking voters to write in Darwin’s name in the 10th District, which includes half of Athens-Clarke County and takes in a swath of eastern Georgia, began after Broun, speaking at a sportsmen’s banquet at a Hartwell church, called evolution and other areas of science “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
“I can’t ever remember seeing a (write-in ballot) report that long,” Athens-Clarke County Elections Supervisor Gail Schrader said after releasing the write-in numbers to news media Thursday morning.
In addition to the write-in votes cast for Darwin in the district race, a handful of votes for the long-dead British scientist were cast in other races, and a host of other names were included as write-in votes in races, including the congressional contest.
A considerable number of votes were cast in Athens-Clarke County for the legitimate write-in candidate in the race, Brian Russell Brown, of Augusta, who has waged write-in campaigns for other major political offices in previous elections.
Broun received 16,980 votes in Athens-Clarke County and 209,917 votes across the district.
The write-in totals for Darwin in the other 24 counties making up the 10th Congressional District will be widely available early next week when the Georgia secretary of state’s office certifies election results. The vote totals for the legitimate write-in candidate in the race also will be available early next week.