(MENAFN - AFP) Charles Darwin, the 19th century father of the theory of evolution, earned more than 4,000 votes in a US congressional race from voters protesting the unopposed candidacy of an ardent creationist, a local newspaper reported Friday.
The English biologist was the object of a grass-roots write-in campaign in Athens-Clarke county, in the southern US state of Georgia, according to the web site of the Athens Banner-Herald.
The only name officially on the ballot was that of incumbent Paul Broun, a Republican congressman and strident Tea Partier who also believes in creationism, the movement that declares God literally created the world in seven days.
During the campaign, Broun -- who chaired the oversight subcommittee for the House Science, Space and Technology Committee during his last term -- declared that evolution amounted to "lies straight from the pit of hell."
The remark prompted University of Georgia biologist Jim Leebens-Mack to launch a Facebook page calling for "Darwin for Congress," and asking voters to "send a message to Paul Broun and his colleagues."
Public records show that 4,000 write-in votes were cast for Darwin, although they were not included in the official tally. Georgia election officials told AFP Friday only votes for "certified, qualified write-in candidates" are counted.
According to the official numbers, Broun earned 100 percent of the tally, with 209,917 votes across the district, which includes Athens-Clark county.
Undeterred, the movement, in its latest update on the "Darwin for Congress" Facebook page, pledged to "find a rational, living candidate to replace Dr. Broun in 2014."