As November 4 draws near, Americans are flocking to the polls to vote early, doggedly suffering through long lines to get their voices heard. Leveraging the electoral anxiety, the progressive non-profit People for the American Way decided a great way to channel that energy and get people involved in the political process would be through haiku.

“We were looking for a way for people to be creative, have fun and express concerns over the election,” PFAW press secretary Drew Courtney said. “There is a certain elegance to the haiku that allows for clarity and humor.”

A total of 10,000 poems addressing threats the McCain-Palin candidacy posed to democracy and the Supreme Court were submitted by 4,000 individuals, and were winnowed down to a pool of fifty entries. “It was overwhelming,” Courtney said via e-mail. “Not only were we impressed by the number of entries, but by the quality as well…. The overall quality of the entries was very high.”

The internal selection committee narrowed it down to twelve finalists, and then 14,000 PFAW supporters voted for three winners via the organization’s website. Below are the three winning poems. View the twelve finalists at the PFAW website.

McCain is ailin’
Chooses hockey mom Palin
You betcha, we’re pucked!

Chaunce Windle

of South Bend, Indiana

See dust thick on text books.
Evolution was a fad.
Science dead? You betcha.

Laura Welch

of Syracuse, NY

Habeas corpus
And that pesky Bill of Rights
Who needs ’em? Wink. Wink.

Jean Hall

of Norwood, MA