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January 18, 2017

“I thought the election worked like that show ‘Survivor’ and we were supposed to vote someone off the island."

In the weeks and months since Donald J. Trump’s election, voters have been coming forward, whether it be in media interviews or on social media, to explain why they chose to go to the polls for such a divisive, and seemingly flawed, candidate.

Silent, however, have been the slim portion of the electorate who cast their ballot for the billionaire by mistake.

Until now.

Here are the explanations, condensed and edited, of people who voted for Trump by accident.

Voter: Margie Simmons, 52. School Administrator.

Home: Dearborn, Michigan.

“I thought the election worked like that show ‘Survivor’ and we were supposed to vote someone out, so I voted for Trump. I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t find that little urn thingy to drop my ballot in. I know that sounds pretty dumb, but people always complain about “low voter turnout” and ’Survivor’ has been on the air for, like, twenty years. I dunno. Maybe I’m on to something?”

Voter: Ben Stoob, 35. Construction Worker.

Home: Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

“I was trying to get my five-year-old excited about democracy, so I brought her into my voting booth and let her fill out my ballot for me. I told her to vote Democrat down the line, but she bubbled in Trump when I wasn’t looking. What was I supposed to do? Tear up her vote right in front of her face? What kind of message is that to send to a little girl?”

Voter: Isaac Web, 24. E-Cigarette Sales Representative.

Home: Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

“I knocked over six Pumpkin Spiced Lattes onto my voting machine. I thought Starbucks stopped doing them after Halloween, so when I saw them on the menu that morning, I went a little over board. I was planning on drinking one and taking the rest home and putting them in my freezer, but obviously that didn’t work out.

The people working at my polling station told me that I couldn’t vote again because when the machine short circuited it had registered my vote for Trump. Maybe they were just trying to fuck with me? They were super pissed.”

Voter: Reba Murphy, 30. Online Pet Accessory Retailer.

Home: Delaware, Ohio.

“My 30th birthday was on Election day this year and my fiancee planned this whole day of crazy surprises for me. He woke me up with breakfast in bed and then made me put on a blindfold so I wouldn’t know where we going next. We stopped to vote, but he still wouldn’t let me take the blindfold off. I could tell that he had put a lot of work into everything, so I played along and just kinda scribbled all over my ballot. The only reason I know I voted for Trump is the woman who ran my ballot through the Scantron called me a “Nazi bitch.” I was pretty upset, but I forgot all about it when I opened my eyes to find myself on a hot air ballon, six thousand feet in the air, holding a glass of French champagne!”

Voter: Ken Hammond, 41. Knife Maker.

Home: Fort Dodge, Iowa.

“I was using one of those touchscreen machines, which are usually super straight forward, but I had just had my fingers surgically elongated the day before the election. Maybe I was woozy from the painkillers or maybe I wasn’t used to the extra reach on my pointer yet, but I ended up tapping on Trump’s name by mistake. I’m not a Trump supporter by any means, but I’d do it all over again if I had to because now I can hold two soda cans in one hand.”

Voter: Michelle Banks, 32. E-Sports Manager/Agent.

Home: Mankato, Minnesota.

“I ran into my dentist at my polling place. It was really awkward. You never expect to see your dentist in real life, right? I didn’t know what to talk about, so I asked him if I could look at his teeth for a change. I thought he might think that was funny, but he got pretty offended.

When I went in to vote, I was barely paying attention to what I was doing. I just kept replaying the memory of me trying to shove my fingers into my dentist’s mouth over and over again. I tell myself I voted for Trump by accident, but I think that a little part of me was so ashamed, I was trying to burn it all down to the ground.”