The long national nightmare that is the 2016 presidential election is nearly over and to celebrate this last day before Election Day (and the nearly 24-hour coverage of the election), the “West Wing” has some dos and don’ts for voters to remember.
In the Season 4 episode “Election Night,” Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) goes to vote before heading to work and a seemingly innocuous fellow voter approaches him, which snowballs into an absolutely outstanding election day prank.
“Bartlet’s on the ballot for the Democratic party and for the Statehood party — it’s OK that I voted for him in both columns, right?” asks the voter.
Answer — no. You can only vote once.
“Did I hear you say you’re supposed to vote for the president in both columns?” asks another voter.
Again — no.
“I’ll tell you a secret for a short cut — if you just, say, vote for one Democrat and leave all the rest of the boxes blank, then you voted for all the Democrats,” says a third voter (who, incidentally, is played by “A League of Their Own’s” Marla Hooch, Megan Cavanagh).
Wrong again — that won’t cast votes for all Democrats or Republicans. However, when Lyman says, “You can’t vote for a party, you have to vote for a person!”, technically he is wrong. You can vote straight–ticket for one party, but it does not work the way Marla Hooch says it does.
“Just rank the candidates in order of preference,” advises a fourth voter.
“I voted for your boy in all three boxes!” exclaims a fifth.
No and no.
Before Lyman can stroke out right on the spot, the voters reveal they were hired by his coworker, Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), to play a prank on Josh.
They decide to go vote, but not before one last dig: “Do you happen to know if I need to be, I don’t know, pre-registered or something?”
Yes and no. Registration can take several weeks, so you may not be able to vote if you show up at a polling place and are not already registered. Thirteen states plus the District of Columbia have implemented same-day registration, however — check to see if your state is one of them here.