Floridians Voted Big for Tim Tebow for New Statue in D.C. Capitol

Today a committee in Tallahassee will meet to decide the winner among three finalists for a new statue to represent Florida in the U.S. Capitol. Those finalists — who are all perfectly respectable choices — were chosen by ordinary Floridians in a monthlong online survey.  

But we know you better than that, Florida. We knew there was zero chance you had logged in to the state survey and done the responsible thing. So we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the state to find out for whom you really voted. 

And sure enough, hundreds of you — presumably in your free time when not throwing live gators through drive-thru windows — cast your ballots for completely ineligible choices.

The winner of this real Florida Man vote for a new state statue? Tim Tebow, of course.

Among ineligible choices, records show, Tebow demolished the opposition with 153 votes. That's a lot of votes. Even among all the eligible candidates (who had to be deceased at least ten years, a citizen of Florida, and not a fictional character to qualify), Tebow's showing would have been good enough for sixth place. 

Alas, Florida will not be traveling to D.C. to Tebow in front of their favorite quarterback who couldn't actually throw a ball very well. 

Tebow was the consensus pick among invalid choices, but there were plenty of other inspired and equally bad votes. Some other notable figures who received nods:
  • Adolf Hitler (2 votes)
  • A-Rod (1) 
  • A Homeless Florida Crack Head (1)
  • Bobby Bowden (9)
  • Dan Marino (2) 
  • Florida Man (4) 
  • Donald Trump (5)
  • George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin (1 each)
  • Jeb Bush's political career (1)
  • Jimmy Buffett (6) 
  • Little Marco's tiny penis (1)
  • Marco Rubio (27)
  • Yo mama (1)
Truly a mature display of voting there, Florida. Well done! 

The three real winners — Everglades environmentalist Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Publix founder George Jenkins, and educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune — will be narrowed down to one by a committee of the Great Floridians Program.

Interestingly, the online survey records show those three weren't actually the top eligible vote-getters. Bethune topped the list with 1,237 votes, but second place went to James Weldon Johnson, the first African-American admitted to the Florida Bar, who was also a teacher and activist.

Johnson nabbed 450 votes but was passed over for the final round of voting in favor of Jenkins (418) and Douglas (270). It's not clear why the committee chose to leave Johnson out of the final round.

Either way, the time is now to pull out your Tebow jersey and plan a protest march on Tally after today's vote. 
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink