By Max Fontaine | He didn’t want this assignment at all
A “delayed survey” shows Bass Lake residents prefer Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter to win the 1976 presidential election, according to long-lost results uncovered this week at the town hall.
Based on an official count done by the town council, 17 of the 400 residents who completed the unscientific questionnaire chose Ford as the electoral-vote winner, compared to 15 who chose Carter, referred to as “James Earl Carter” in the initial poll. One respondent selected “other,” specifically Morris Udall.
Margin of error in the poll: plus or minus nothing.
Town clerk-treasurer Olden A. Goodway stumbeled onto the ballots Tuesday, as he began to sort through materials in what some people are now calling a “hot-closet time machine.” The “some people” is Goodway.
“It was time for annual spring cleaning, even though there are still four more weeks of winter, if we can trust the groundog-day groundhog,” Goodway said. “At the bottom of a shoebox in a larger box in an even-larger box in the corner — I found the survey. Turns out, it had never been tallied.”
As of today, it has been tallied.
Goodway believes the survey was misplaced during a transitional period sometime around the nation’s bicentennial celebration, when then-clerk Mildred McNabb, then-72, died unexpectedly, and without warning.
“If she hadn’t croaked right then, this would have been old news by now,” said Tug, Mildred’s twice-removed second-cousin.