Barney's beer ballot
The age-old West Hollywood chili parlor, youth hangout and all-around beer fountain Barney's Beanery (now with branches in Santa Monica and Pasadena) plans to get a jump on Super Tuesday by holding its own straw ballot on Monday, Feb. 4. No actual straws will be harmed in this process. You just choose a $3 pour from the tap labeled with the candidate of your choice -- Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Romney, McCain or Giuliani -- and that counts as a vote. (By the way, does this mean Barney's knows something about Mike Huckabee's chances that we don't?) The three suds polling places will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Bartenders acting as election officials will record a running tally on whiteboards. The Barney's press release says, "Vote tampering will be encouraged," which one hopes shows they're not taking this too seriously. (It's not as if Barney's has much of a track record -- in 2004, the Santa Monica branch had a two-day beer vote that ended with John Kerry beating George Bush 2 to 1.) Maybe they're just trying to encourage people to "vote early and often," as the saying goes. Stuff the ballot box and yourself at the same time, as it were.
-- Charles Perry
Correction: The voting hours are 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Super Tuesday.