The McCain-est County

Not a Democratic year in King County

Nationwide county-by-county results are available on lots of interactive maps on the Web. We used one to find that — as far as some quick cursor-rolling can determine — the biggest McCain vote in Texas, percentagewise, came from King County in the southern Panhandle.

Ninety-three percent of King County voters went for McCain. Exactly eight voters — not eight percent, but eight people — voted for Obama.

Must be a pretty Republican county, right?

"Oh no, we're mostly Democratic here," county clerk Jammye Timmons tells Hair Balls.

So...ummmm...why did everyone vote Republican?

(A pause.)

"I guess they just didn't want a Democrat this year," she says.

Yes, this definitely wasn't the year to be a Democrat.

There are 198 registered voters in King County, which is mostly ranch land. (The county's motto, according to its Web page, is "Windmills & Barbed Wire.") Voter turnout was 84 percent.

Eight votes for Obama? You probably could tell exactly who those eight people were, right?

"I probably could," Timmons says with a laugh. "But that's probably not a healthy thing to do, go around telling people, 'I know how you voted.'"

According to the Census Bureau, about 11 of the county's 287 residents are black. Not that that's relevant, or anything. — Richard Connelly

Not Many Voters on the Bus

It's election day, 10:30 a.m., and I'm sitting on the #85 bus. I'm in the front section, where two double bench seats face each other, making for easy conversation.

"So did everybody vote already?" I ask.

No answer. A few ears perk up, the bus driver glances in his rearview mirror to see who's talking, but no one says anything.

"It's election day; everybody voted, right?"

No answer.

I make eye contact with a young woman in a pizza-place uniform. "Did you vote?"

"¿Qué?"

Never mind.

I smile at a guy in work boots and a baseball hat. "Did you vote?"

"Ah, I...uh (cough, cough), ah..."

"He can't vote," his buddy laughs. "He's a felon."

"So are you," shoots back the first guy.

Okay, that's three down.

I try an older black guy in dress slacks and two-toned shoes. "Did you vote?"

He's about to answer when the bus driver says, "Hey, you can't be bothering people. There's no soliciting on the bus."

"I'm not soliciting..."

"Don't do that on the bus," he says firmly.

The black man smiles a little, leans across the aisle to tell me, and tells me in a stage whisper, "I don't mind telling you, miss, I voted early. I'd vote again, if I could." A few heads in the front rows nod and smile. "I'd vote all day, but...sorry, this is my stop."

I look around, looking for someone else to ask, and a hefty woman across from me frowns and says, "Don't even ask me, you already know I didn't."

I sit back, deflated. Out of the six people sitting near me, one's an immigrant, two are felons, one voted early, one didn't vote and one wants me to stop soliciting. Here's hoping the averages on the #85 Metro aren't any indication of what the city does as a whole.— Olivia Flores Alvarez

 
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