Man Smashes Machine In Moment Of Electoral Rage

As we now know, America collectively showed their present frustrations at the ballot box yesterday. One man, took his moment to vent a bit further than the rest.
According to The Morning Call:

A man who reportedly believed Republicans were conspiring to steal today’s election entered an Allentown polling site, signed in and proceeded to smash the screen of one of the electronic voting machines with a metal cat paperweight, poll volunteers said.
Michael Young, 43, of 375 Auburn St., will be charged with felony criminal mischief and tampering with voting machines, according to Ronald Manescu, chief of investigations for Allentown police.
Police gave no motive, but a source said Young, a registered Independent, believed Republicans had conspired to win the election by using electronic ballots. This is the first time electronic machines are being widely used in a Pennsylvania general election.
“He came in here very peaceably and showed his ID,” said volunteer Gladys Pezoldt, “then he got on the machine and just snapped.”
Lehigh County Board of Elections Chief Clerk Stacy J. Sterner said votes recorded on the machine were saved. More than 130 people had voted at the site by the time of the incident.

You may wonder what this has to do with advertising. On the surface nothing. But it is an insightful look into the fragile psyche of “everyday” Americans, a.k.a. consumers. I may be reaching, but I think there’s a message here for brand managers and their agencies. Namely, tread lightly and tell the truth.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.