Other campuses: ‘Dynamite’ characters get write-in votes in elections

(U-WIRE) MANHATTAN, Kan. – “Pedro” received some votes for both student body president and vice president at Kansas State University. Signs and sidewalk chalk around campus contain the message “Vote for Pedro.” The message comes from the 2004 film, Napolean Dynamite.

Pedro Leite, assistant professor for computer systems technology at K-State in Salina, Kan., received nine votes for president and two for vice president with various runningmates.

“I was surprised,” he said. “I don’t even know who my runningmates are.”

Leite said he didn’t know why he received the votes at first, but he’s seen the movie.

“I see some students walking around wearing shirts saying ‘Vote for Pedro,'” he said.

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    Elections Commissioner David McCandless said the votes were cast because of the movie.

    “I’m sure that was the consideration,” he said.

    Rob Caffey, director of mediated education, said when students want to write-in a candidate the voting program brings up a search.

    The search brings up all students that could be the typed in name.

    “The particular reason that he showed up is the eID system shows him as being a student,” Caffey said.

    Students have to be enrolled as a full-time student in order to to be qualified to be president or vice president, but since it searches all students, unqualified candidates can be written in, McCandless said.

    Leite said he is a graduate student, but he isn’t taking any classes. He’s doing research work, so he is an enrolled student.

    Leite was not the only write-in candidate voted for from the movie. Kip Butler, graduate student in veterinary medicine, received two vice president votes with Leite as his running mate.

    “I have no idea why,” Butler said. “I don’t have a clue.”

    Caffey said he is not concerned about the votes for Pedro affecting the election.

    “I guess it’s cute,” he said. “It doesn’t appear to me it’s adversely affected the outcome.”