Occupiers split over presidential candidates, voting at all


Zuccotti Park, NEW YORK– In a survey of nearly 120 occupiers Monday afternoon, 27 percent said they will vote to reelect President Obama, and 23 percent said they will not vote.

Of the Obama supporters, few expressed enthusiasm, casting their decision to vote Democrat as the lesser evil next to Mitt Romney.

Nearly as many occupiers are refusing to vote at all or are planning to write in various candidates in jest.

“Occupy is a mindset that shows the system is not working,” Bob Carpenter, a 72-year-old political activist and Vietnam War veteran, said. “It’s wonderful, damn it, because … we need the young people to put us in the right direction.”

When asked who he would vote for, Dan Shynoweth didn’t hesistate to say “definitely not Romney,” but admitted he was suspicious of Obama’s “lawyer-like” way with words.

“I’m still trying to figure out Obama,” he said. “Whose side is he actually on?”

Female occupiers had qualms over the Obama administration’s spending on the military. Photo by Meagan Clark.

Twenty percent said they will write in a candidate. Most had already decided who or what to write, including: the ghost of Stalin, a dog named Panic Bearcat, Anonymous, Tom Weeds and We the People.

Almost half of the 20 percent plan to vote for Vermin Supreme, an anarchist from Boston known to mock other political candidates and wear a boot-shaped hat. Supreme spoke to the New York occupiers Sunday.

One person said they will vote for Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Thirteen percent of the occupiers surveyed said they will vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party.

“To me, asking me to vote for Obama or Romney is like asking me to decide between small pox and cholera,” Stein supporter John Newport said.

Ten percent remain undecided or declined to disclose their vote.

“I know who I’m voting for, but I don’t want to say,” Ariel Gee said after her friend expressed support for Obama.

Four percent said they will vote for Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. Three percent said they will vote for Romney.

Priya Reddy, undecided, believes voting is important, but America needs “better choices” for president. “The lesser of two evils is still evil, and Occupy is the non-evil option.”