Final Results
January 12, 2009

The crack contest staff of thanks Polly Pollster for submitting the only entry that met the conditions for winning, thereby saving us the difficulties we experienced tallying the final score for Rig the Vote! As the winning contestant herself observes,

"Polly was appalled that the prior pollsters were so pathetic that contest participants proposed changes paled in comparison to the pervasive predominance of Obama voters. Cheers!"

Yeah, that's what we say too. Thanks to everyone for playing, no matter how feeble your attempts.

Official Results from CNN

Popular VoteElectoral Votes
Alabama 61%39%90
Alaska 60%38%30
Arizona 54%45%100
Arkansas 59%39%60
California 37%61%055
Colorado 45%54%09
Connecticut 38%61%07
Delaware 37%62%03
District of Columbia7%93%03
Florida 49%51%027
Georgia 52%47%150
Hawaii 27%72%04
Idaho 61%36%40
Illinois 37%62%021
Indiana 49%50%011
Iowa 45%54%07
Kansas 57%41%60
Kentucky 58%41%80
Louisiana 59%40%90
Maine 41%58%04
Maryland 37%62%010
Massachusetts 36%62%012
Michigan 41%57%017
Minnesota 44%54%010
Mississippi 57%43%60
Missouri 50%49%110
Montana 50%47%30
Nebraska 57%42%50
Nevada 43%55%05
New Hampshire 45%54%04
New Jersey 42%57%015
New Mexico 42%57%05
New York 37%62%031
North Carolina 49%50%015
North Dakota 53%45%30
Ohio 47%51%020
Oklahoma 66%34%70
Oregon 41%57%07
Pennsylvania 44%55%021
Rhode Island 35%63%04
South Carolina 54%45%80
South Dakota 53%45%30
Tennessee 57%42%110
Texas 55%44%340
Utah 63%34%50
Vermont 31%68%03
Virginia 47%53%013
Washington 41%58%011
West Virginia 56%43%50
Wisconsin 43%56%010
Wyoming 65%33%30
Total174364 declares Barack Obama the winner of the 2008 presidential election.

Zapped Results

Richard Laughton
McCain 58Obama 335
The election results are unchanged.


Karl Rove
McCain 174Obama 261
The election results are unchanged.


Polly Pollster
McCain 174Obama 142
Zap successful! The election results are reversed!


Anxious Agonizer
McCain 174Obama 193
The election results are unchanged.


McCain 174Obama 335
The election results are unchanged.


Oliver North (Twist)
McCain 174Obama 262
The election results are unchanged.


M. F. Leith
McCain 174Obama 217
The election results are unchanged.


Mr. Potatoe Head
McCain 174Obama 263
The election results are unchanged.

Zapped States Are Marked With an "X"
Richard Laughton* X       X X   X X     X X X   X   X     X X X X   195,740,966
Karl Rove   X                 X           X                 137,000,000
Polly Pollster   X   X     X       X       X   X X X X           99,999,999
Anxious Agonizer   X         X     X X       X   X   X             75,000,000
Maria     X                         X   X               5,345,972
Oliver North (Twist)   X   X                             X             131,461,209
M. F. Leith   X         X     X X           X               X 100,000,000
Mr. Potatoe Head**   X                         X   X                 128,691,485
States which no players have zapped are not displayed in the table.
*Richard Laughton is a "Canadian," unaffiliated with, and eligible to win a prize.
**Mr. Potatoe Head is an employee of and is ineligible to receive a prize.

Abbreviations:  AL-Alabama  AK-Alaska  AZ-Arizona  AR-Arkansas  CA-California  CO-Colorado  CT-Connecticut  DE-Delaware  DC-Washington, D.C.  FL-Florida  GA-Georgia  HI-Hawaii  ID-Idaho  IL-Illinois  IN-Indiana  IA-Iowa  KS-Kansas  KY-Kentucky  LA-Louisiana  ME-Maine  MD-Maryland  MA-Massachusetts  MI-Michigan  MN-Minnesota  MS-Mississippi  MO-Missouri  MT-Montana  NE-Nebraska  NV-Nevada  NH-New Hampshire  NJ-New Jersey  NM-New Mexico  NY-New York  NC-North Carolina  ND-North Dakota  OH-Ohio  OK-Oklahoma  OR-Oregon  PA-Pennsylvania  RI-Rhode Island  SC-South Carolina  SD-South Dakota  TN-Tennessee  TX-Texas  UT-Utah  VT-Vermont  VA-Virginia  WA-Washington  WV-West Virginia  WI-Wisconsin  WY-Wyoming 


The problem is simple: too many states! Or to be specific, too many of the wrong states. This contest gives you the opportunity to correct this problem by eliminating as many states as you like from the Electoral College. You'll do this neatly and painlessly by using alien technology as seen in the classic-but-preachy science-fiction movie The 27th Day. This technology lets you remove all the humans from a geographic location without harming any plants or animals (the aliens wanted to use it to clean up planet Earth before moving in, but you'll have to watch the movie to find out what went wrong with their plan). Although the term is not used in the movie, for contest purposes we'll use the word "zap" to mean "remove from the presidential 2008 election results." If by zapping the right states you manage to reverse the outcome of the coming election, you may win a prize!

How to Enter

Use the convenient form at the bottom of this page to enter the contest. Fill in the identifying fields, then check the box next to each state you want to zap. Finally, fill in your tiebreaker prediction and click "submit." All entries must be received no later than midnight on Sunday, November 2, 2008.

Anyone with an e-mail account is welcome to play. There is no charge. You may send only one entry from an e-mail address. If you have more than one address, you may send one entry from each. You may use the same address to enter this contest and any other running concurrently at


Results will be calculated using CNN's online election results. For each contestant, the electoral votes from all the states he doesn't zap will be tallied, and if the result of this "recount" is the reverse of the actual election, the contestant is eligible to win a prize. Since it's likely that more than one player will meet this criterion, a series of tiebreakers will be used to determine the prizewinner. If multiple players are tied for first place after all tiebreakers have been exhausted, duplicate prizes will be awarded (or equivalent prizes if duplicates cannot be obtained). Tiebreakers will be applied in the order shown here:

  1. The player who zaps states that are all won by the same candidate wins.
  2. The player who zaps the fewest electoral votes wins.
  3. The player who zaps the fewest states wins.
  4. The player who generates the largest electoral-vote margin of victory wins.
  5. The player whose tiebreaker prediction is closest to the actual number of votes cast nationwide wins (it makes no difference whether the prediction is higher or lower than the actual total).
Because the outcome of the election and the percentage of votes won by each candidate in each state may not be known immediately, will not announce an official winner until the results are no longer in doubt. Tentative results will be posted when practical.

The Prize does not reveal the prizes to be awarded before all entries have been received. However, since this contest is all about changing the results of an event rather than predicting them, we're going to break our own rule. The winner will receive a copy of How to Build a Robot Army by Daniel H. Wilson, PhD. If the winner should actually try to follow the instructions within, the crack contest staff at recommends that he (and everyone else) get a copy of Dr. Wilson's arguably more important book, How to Survive a Robot Uprising.


Seeking Professional Help

Where and how you do your research is entirely your decision. For those of you who aren't sure where to start, we suggest CNN. They summarize the results of all the latest polls in their Electoral Map Calculator, which not only tells you which way each state is leaning but also lets you see the impact of changing the preference of any state.


Your e-mail address (will not appear on player roster):

Your name (as you want it to appear on the player roster):

Check the boxes next to the states you want to zap.

StateElectoral Votes
Alabama 9
Alaska 3
Arizona 10
Arkansas 6
California 55
Colorado 9
Connecticut 7
Delaware 3
District of Columbia3
Florida 27
Georgia 15
Hawaii 4
Idaho 4
Illinois 21
Indiana 11
Iowa 7
Kansas 6
Kentucky 8
Louisiana 9
Maine 4
Maryland 10
Massachusetts 12
Michigan 17
Minnesota 10
Mississippi 6
Missouri 11
Montana 3
Nebraska 5
Nevada 5
New Hampshire 4
New Jersey 15
New Mexico 5
New York 31
North Carolina 15
North Dakota 3
Ohio 20
Oklahoma 7
Oregon 7
Pennsylvania 21
Rhode Island 4
South Carolina 8
South Dakota 3
Tennessee 11
Texas 34
Utah 5
Vermont 3
Virginia 13
Washington 11
West Virginia 5
Wisconsin 10
Wyoming 3


Predict the total number of votes that will be cast nationwide: