Of Winners and Losers

Winners and LosersAfter a very close vote on Thomas Merton vs. Charles Wesley, the Supreme Executive Committee carefully reviewed all the votes. We are sorry to say that we found two instances of voter cheating, both attempting to support Merton. A voter in Springfield, Missouri, voted 21 times for Merton, while a voter in Colorado Springs, Colorado, voted 34 times for Merton. Those two users have been banned, and we have removed 55 votes from Merton. This means Charles Wesley received more legitimate votes than Thomas Merton, so Wesley is hereby declared the winner. People who cheat are hereby declared losers.

Please note, in Lent Madness, we encourage you to do whatever you can to get out the vote. Send mass emails to everyone in your diocese, rent a blimp, buy television ads, canvass your neighbors, or do something more conventional like tell your Facebook friends to vote for your candidate. But we frown on persons who vote more than once. Don’t do it.

Also, please note, we are carefully watching some voters from Seattle, WA; Stow, OH; and Oregon, OH. You’ve been warned. Don’t risk being cast into the outer darkness of Lent Madness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So, rest assured that Big Fathers are watching. Lent Madness will be decided in free and fair elections.

For now, we encourage you to vote (once only) in today’s match-up between Lydia and Basil the Great.

88 Comments to "Of Winners and Losers"

  1. Patsy's Gravatar Patsy
    April 8, 2014 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    Glad you found the cheaters. It’s appalling. I think the Loser arrow should point down instead of right. Thanks for not sending it the way of us “lefties.”

  2. Anne McCorkle Garrett's Gravatar Anne McCorkle Garrett
    April 8, 2014 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    Thank you, o great and might SEC! I saw a spurt last night, which looked suspicious, after slow movements in the lead all day. We appreciate your diligence in the pursuit of justice.

  3. April 8, 2014 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Obviously repeat voting was just a fitting homage to their patron, who sacrilegiously attempted to repeat his baptism!

  4. James's Gravatar James
    April 8, 2014 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Banned? What happened to Grace? 🙂

    • Another Peg's Gravatar Another Peg
      April 8, 2014 - 11:58 am | Permalink

      It sounds like it was pretty mindful–not just a glitch with refreshing the page and thinking your vote didn’t go in. I’m sure even in Outer Darkness, the blogs and comments can still be read as the parties responsible live out the consequences of this clearly inappropriate action. Fun is fun. Cheating is sad. We’re all sinners, and all saints, and God continues to love us even when we make him wince.

  5. Ann Ely's Gravatar Ann Ely
    April 8, 2014 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Oh. Good. Grief. Really?

    • James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
      April 8, 2014 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

      They are undoubtedly part of the wealthy one per cent who feel entitled to get more votes here, just as they do everywhere else. Fair is fair, after all.

  6. Ellen Parke's Gravatar Ellen Parke
    April 8, 2014 - 10:56 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the SEC should consider calling in a team of international election observers?

    • Jerry Rankin's Gravatar Jerry Rankin
      April 8, 2014 - 11:18 am | Permalink

      Is Jimmy Carter available?

  7. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 8, 2014 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    Guys, they are NOT kidding. I accidentally voted more than once and it took a great deal of apologizing, groveling, scraping, bowing, kowtowing, stepin-fetching, and all around kissing of posterior to keep from being cast into the pit.
    Trust me (old fat fingers here),
    It ain’t worth it.

  8. Grace cangialosi's Gravatar Grace cangialosi
    April 8, 2014 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    So…what were the final scores?????

  9. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    April 8, 2014 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    Did someone give up honesty for Lent? Not the best Lenten discipline I’ve heard of, but it’s different, I’ll ’em that!

    • April 8, 2014 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I was going to give up being Catholic for lent, but my priest said it may not be the best idea. I’m as competitive as anyone, but I can’t imagine why anyone would cheat on Lent Madness. It’s madness, I tell you, madness!

  10. April 8, 2014 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    Tough choice but I go with Merton.

  11. Leslie R's Gravatar Leslie R
    April 8, 2014 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    Really? Why? I so don’t understand the cheaters. And, i’m sad Merton lost!
    What was the actual vote count?

  12. April 8, 2014 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    Why in the world would anyone want Merton THAT much!

  13. Kathy Hartley's Gravatar Kathy Hartley
    April 8, 2014 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    It is disheartening. On the other hand, it is kind of lovely that people care so much. My cousin and I were emailing even to Italy in a vain effort to support our patron saint Catherine of Sienna.

  14. Cush's Gravatar Cush
    April 8, 2014 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    Please do not repeat this today — last time I checked it was really close… I am disappointed in folks who vote more than once – it really spoils the fun and learning that Lent Madness provides — glad there were no “spoilers” from Cook County Illinois 🙂

  15. April 8, 2014 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    The results have been adjusted and appear on the Merton-Wesley link. Here they are:

    Charles Wesley (50%, 3,236 Votes)
    Thomas Merton (50%, 3,185 Votes)
    Total Voters: 6,421

    • April 8, 2014 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Why doesn’t the software prevent voting more than once on all computers? My computer does.

      • May's Gravatar May
        April 8, 2014 - 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Computers ‘recognize’ people via ip address, but there are ways to reset your ip (or vote from multiple locations or even just multiple computers/devices). Computers aren’t really /that/ smart.

  16. Harry Moncelle's Gravatar Harry Moncelle
    April 8, 2014 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    I am forced to comply with the omnipotent members of the SEC in their ruling. No one likes folks who attempt to “fix” and election.,what do they think this is Florida? I am a proud support of Thomas Merton however one must yield to the results of an honest count. ( unlike Florida is past elections)

    • April 9, 2014 - 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Extra votes, especially from the dead, would be a Chicago tactic. There is also the Boston strategy, but the tardiness of execution in this case rules it out.

  17. Christy's Gravatar Christy
    April 8, 2014 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    Wow, good to know the SEC is on top of things. You might find your services needed for some upcoming elections, here and abroad.

  18. April 8, 2014 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Seems to me that those who voted more than once took the phrase “vote early, vote often” a little bit too literally.

  19. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    April 8, 2014 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    *I’ll GIVE ’em that.

  20. Phil's Gravatar Phil
    April 8, 2014 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Really? Voter fraud!? Sheeesh!

  21. J's Gravatar J
    April 8, 2014 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    I thought repeat voting was a tradition only in Chicago?

  22. Thomas van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas van Brunt
    April 8, 2014 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    Maybe you need Jimmy Carter. I’m glad you caught them. It is baffling that people who like Merton, could do such a thing. Hey, you in Stow. Cut it out. Tom VB. Stow graduate 1962.

  23. Bob Corey's Gravatar Bob Corey
    April 8, 2014 - 11:21 am | Permalink

    Chuck Wesley against Thomas Merton
    All day the winner uncertain
    With cookies reset
    Two tilted the bet
    Being caught, fans of Merton are hurtin’

    • Another Peg's Gravatar Another Peg
      April 8, 2014 - 12:01 pm | Permalink


  24. Irene Cowley's Gravatar Irene Cowley
    April 8, 2014 - 11:34 am | Permalink

    I am really sorry if those two ‘cheaters’ were actually bible study groups who all voted on the same computer, though. Although 34 is an awfully large study group.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      April 8, 2014 - 6:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Also, for many social media votes out there you are encouraged to vote many times in a row for “your” candidate – could be confusing for some people esp if new and esp if they didn’t look closely at the rules. I’d like to believe the multiple votes were misunderstanding rather than malice. But the main rule is SEC (not God) is our Judge when it comes to voter fraud in LM context, so I guess we trust their judgement!

  25. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    April 8, 2014 - 11:34 am | Permalink

    Not that I support cheaters, but I’m bummed because I had technical difficulties yesterday with my internet connection and couldn’t vote for Merton…sigh. I was saying to myself “it’s not like your vote would have made a difference.” Maybe it would have!

  26. Brian Perkins of St John Baptist in Thomaston ME's Gravatar Brian Perkins of St John Baptist in Thomaston ME
    April 8, 2014 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    OMG, this scandal is hilarious. What a time to lose internet in a storm! I am forced to borrow my wife’s farm iPad to vote. I’ve had to switch away from Lydia for this round – tough! By the way, if two votes come in from this iPad, it’s no scandal. Discount mine. It’s her device, and God’s will prevail. But, I don’t think she’s as hooked as I am. Thank you for doing this; it is the sense of humor that has made saintly studies enjoyable! We love you in Maine. God’s speed.


  27. Will Bergmann's Gravatar Will Bergmann
    April 8, 2014 - 11:43 am | Permalink

    Colorado Springs and Springfield, MO…Does this mean we’re still counting the cemetery vote , oops, the Church Triumphant vote from Chicago?

  28. Carol Justice's Gravatar Carol Justice
    April 8, 2014 - 11:47 am | Permalink

    Cheating in the votes for the Golden Halo???? Sports, maybe but Saints?? What has the world come to?

    • Susan T's Gravatar Susan T
      April 8, 2014 - 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Rumor has it that the NOLA Saints have their own issues…oh, the irony!

    • Bob H's Gravatar Bob H
      April 9, 2014 - 12:36 am | Permalink

      Next thing you know, there will be odds in Vegas for betting on the Golden Halo.

  29. Phil's Gravatar Phil
    April 8, 2014 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    On behalf of all supporters of J.S. Bach, I demand a recount in light of the cheating which has been going on!

    • Lynn's Gravatar Lynn
      April 8, 2014 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

      LOL Phil

    • Thomas van Brunt's Gravatar Thomas van Brunt
      April 8, 2014 - 6:57 pm | Permalink


  30. LJG's Gravatar LJG
    April 8, 2014 - 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Very disappointed that Lenten Madness was tainted by voter fraud. How contrary to the spirit of the matches! But please stop bashing Chicago and Cook County.

    • rellingrw's Gravatar rellingrw
      April 8, 2014 - 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the voter fraud associated with Cook County happened in the 1960 Presidential election, which is clearly 54 years ago. The mayor who organized it, the first Mayor Daley, has been dead for 38 years. LJG, it is a Lenten penance to put up with all of those old farts who continue to live in the past. As a native Chicagoan, I feel your irritation, but they can’t live too much longer.

      • Will Bergmann's Gravatar Will Bergmann
        April 8, 2014 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

        1960 was not a unique date in Chicago history. I too am a native Chicagoan , although I now live in the east. I have a good friend who worked for the “young” Richard Daley. When working an election, she called one of the collar counties for a vote total . The person she talked to said “how many do you need?”. However, as those of us Chocagoans who ventured outside of Cook county learned, the voting discrepancies in DuPage and Lake Counties certainly offset any difficulties in Cook County.

      • Phil's Gravatar Phil
        April 8, 2014 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

        I was a poll watcher in Chicago in 1972. In one precinct the precinct captains somehow got a hold of the paper ballots and were running a “chain” ballot. I had to have an escort from the Feds to get out of there. The I was in another precinct where all the machines had a few hundred votes on the counters BEFORE any votes were even registered! But there was definitely an effort to do something about voter fraud which I was a part of. That’s more than I can say about a lot of other places where that kind of cheating is winked at!

  31. Conny Santana's Gravatar Conny Santana
    April 8, 2014 - 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Ķentucky is so sad today… 🙁

  32. Adam's Gravatar Adam
    April 8, 2014 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I flipped a coin on this one, I like them both. The toss gave me Basil, but I won’t be heartbroken if Lydia wins. (My original choice for the Golden Halo lost in the first round.)

    • Adam's Gravatar Adam
      April 8, 2014 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Oops, commented on the wrong post.

  33. April 8, 2014 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be curious to know if those you’re “watching” in Seattle, WA, turn out to be members of my parish. Please report, if so, to the locum tenens who will consider the possibility of enacting a simulation of the fate that befell their parish’s patron. BTW: Has John/Baptist/Beheaded ever made it to LM? Might be good to consider to reign in wayward Lenten parishioners!

  34. zazzsu's Gravatar zazzsu
    April 8, 2014 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Sad that cheating took place in this race. I have enjoyed this so much as a first timer! Comments have been such fun both here and on Twitter. I wondered about that surge I saw but thought a lot of people had gotten their friends out of their caves! So glad the SEC has been on top of this! I still have faith!!

  35. Mary Ellen Cassini's Gravatar Mary Ellen Cassini
    April 8, 2014 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I really struggled with this one…Musical Spirituality versus Transcendent Spirituality. A very tough choice for me. Both men are to be honored!

  36. Carolee Jones's Gravatar Carolee Jones
    April 8, 2014 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Once or twice the system went into a loop when I voted. I wasn’t sure my vote was counted and I didn’t vote again. Any suggestions?

  37. Susan Fiore's Gravatar Susan Fiore
    April 8, 2014 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Passions have occasionally run high here, but not to the extent of voter fraud. How sad — Merton would be so embarassed and appalled. So would Wesley.

    One can’t help but wonder if the people who would commit voter fraud assume others do too, and are therefore in favor of laws which only serve to suppress voting by honest people . . .

    • rellingrw's Gravatar rellingrw
      April 8, 2014 - 1:33 pm | Permalink

      I believe there was some other voter fraud in earlier years that surrounded a contest that included a Hawaiian saint. I could be wrong about which saint. No offense intended Hawaii.

      • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
        April 8, 2014 - 6:33 pm | Permalink

        I do recall Hawaii’s amazing mobilization of support for Queen Emma, not at all hurt by the fact that the way the world turns meant Hawaiians were the last ones at the polls every night so could vote ‘as needed’ for victory. Very strategic but not fraudulent. In fact I mostly remember how gracious Queen Emma’s juggernaut of supporters were, and how many interesting and wonderful things I learned about QE and Hawaii as we on Team Magdalene struggled to mount a defense against the good-natured onslaught…

  38. April 8, 2014 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Boo! Hiss!
    Nothing but another conspiracy to silence Merton!

    • Bob Corey's Gravatar Bob Corey
      April 8, 2014 - 4:32 pm | Permalink

      And here, I thought his silence was voluntary.

  39. Kristenza's Gravatar Kristenza
    April 8, 2014 - 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Don’t think we need point fingers if we are not supreme justices! Glad to hear the issue is out there, so REPENT! Do good and all that peace and love for the Madness!

  40. April 8, 2014 - 3:39 pm | Permalink

    How do you determine multiple votes, by IP address? If that is the case, this could be problematic for our office which has multiple people, but only one IP address.

    • Beverly Hume's Gravatar Beverly Hume
      April 8, 2014 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Or, separately registered family members sharing a computer, who incidentally, cancel eschew other’s votes.

  41. Shirley D. Stahl's Gravatar Shirley D. Stahl
    April 8, 2014 - 3:55 pm | Permalink

    With this type of multi-voting, perhaps software that would not allow this to happen is needed.

  42. Stephen Sedgwick's Gravatar Stephen Sedgwick
    April 8, 2014 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Well, I am shocked, just shocked, that surveillance is required for two (?) voters residing in my own beloved Diocese of Ohio! Repent, while there is yet time. Jennifer (the rector of St. Paul’s Church, Oregon), if you are out there, redouble your intercessions for a fair and honest tally! Drat it, I had to cross out “Thomas Merton” and write in “Charles Wesley” this afternoon; gone is our pristine Lent Madness poster.

  43. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    April 8, 2014 - 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater! Dishonesty among the ranks of our fun, Lenten game. Go, and sin no more.

  44. Diane Rhodes's Gravatar Diane Rhodes
    April 8, 2014 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Re: members of a family: we have one family of four in our parish that hast taken Madness to heart. They sit down as a family and read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the two contenders’ credentials. Their rules are that they must be in agreement before they cast one (and only one!) vote. We love Lent Madness in northern New Jersey!

  45. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    April 8, 2014 - 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Bummer that the cheaters were on Merton’s side. Doesn’t say much for his fan base.

  46. Kathleen Sheehy's Gravatar Kathleen Sheehy
    April 8, 2014 - 5:18 pm | Permalink

    As Queen of the Luddites, we have no idea how the Big Fathers ferretted out the ballot-box stuffers, but we salute you for your ingenuity. While voting played no part in our ascension to the throne, we remain vigorously supportive of the practice in other realms, including and especially that of Lent Madness.

    • JenniferThomasina's Gravatar JenniferThomasina
      April 8, 2014 - 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Well said, O my Queen!

  47. April 8, 2014 - 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Cheating? During Lent? Or ever? It makes me sad.

  48. llr's Gravatar llr
    April 8, 2014 - 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Not fair – crossed arms, stomped foot, harrumph!

    Blazing Saddles – We Must Do Something! Harrumph!: http://youtu.be/JN99jshaQbY

    (As fair sport as I can be under the circumstances.)

  49. Claire Fitzmaurice's Gravatar Claire Fitzmaurice
    April 8, 2014 - 6:19 pm | Permalink

    All this talk of voter fraud has reminded me of a beloved former mayor of Boston, my hometown. James Michael Curley’s campaign slogan was “Vote often and early for Curley.” The poor Catholics of this city adored him. I was told by my father that Curley introduced mops for the washer women at City Hall. Curley declared, “The only time that any woman should ever be on her knees is when she is praying to her God.” Oh my! How times have changed!

  50. Cathy's Gravatar Cathy
    April 8, 2014 - 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Voting irregularities in the Episcopal Church, what a surprise!

  51. Randall Byrd's Gravatar Randall Byrd
    April 8, 2014 - 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Contact their Rector, if they truly are Episcopalians so they might enter into that little used Sacrament called Reconciliation of a Penitent. Thanks to the SEC for their continued vigilance.

  52. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 8, 2014 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Cheaters never prosper. Oh the shame!

  53. Mary. Nelle Osborne's Gravatar Mary. Nelle Osborne
    April 8, 2014 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

    But I LOVE Merton! Bah to dashed dreams!

  54. Mike Grigsby's Gravatar Mike Grigsby
    April 8, 2014 - 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering…..I had never heard of Merton.

  55. Molly Reingruber's Gravatar Molly Reingruber
    April 8, 2014 - 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, and the cheating is now associated with Merton’s name! I hope that this will not shadow or prevent Merton from making another appearance on LM in a few years.

  56. llr's Gravatar llr
    April 8, 2014 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Ok. Checking the Lent Madness for my work schedule. This is serious! I am convinced you have to play to understand.

  57. llr's Gravatar llr
    April 8, 2014 - 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the washer women example. It’s too easy to think of the washer women only being on the screen or in paintings.

  58. Gillian's Gravatar Gillian
    April 8, 2014 - 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I think it has something to do w Massachusetts. First there’s an over-vote in their episcopal election on Saturday, and now in LM on Monday? All chads point to Fr Tim.

  59. Geraldine Kennon's Gravatar Geraldine Kennon
    April 9, 2014 - 7:52 am | Permalink

    Well done, gentlemen, on the vote count. Lent Madness is informative and great fun. Vote rigging seems counter to your raison d’être.

  60. Marj's Gravatar Marj
    April 9, 2014 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    Julia got my vote today. The phrase ” modest self-effacing Victorian lady” did it for me. I knew some of those ladies and they were the power behind the throne. Many parishes would never have survived much less thrived without these strong willed women of ECW.

  61. kate murray's Gravatar kate murray
    April 9, 2014 - 11:34 am | Permalink

    Last place I would expect to find voter fraud. Brava/Bravo for jumping on this

  62. April 10, 2014 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Cheating at Lent Madnesss. Really, now. Perhaps those who attempted to stuff the ballot box should not only be banned, but made to start Lent over again.

Comments are closed.