Restaurant Customers Handicap Governor's Race - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/01/02 - Tyler

Restaurant Customers Handicap Governor's Race

While early voting goes on all over Texas, there's another type of voting going on in Tyler. The "Great Bean Poll" is taking place again at Sweet Sue's Restaurant in Tyler.

Customers are using beans to express their feelings on the governor's race. It's a microcosm, an entire state represented in two jars of pinto beans. And not only are Sweet Sue's beans full of fiber, they seem to have an uncanny way of predicting Texas elections.

It dates back to the Anne Richards - Clayton Williams Governor's race. Every major election, they put out the jars, and the customers come calling to voice their opinions.

Tyler resident Sydney Wilson says, "It's encouraging to see a lot of the customers are participating in it."

Their informal poll of the musical fruit has been accurate too, with every vote being within a few percentage points of the total vote count for the entire state.

When asked to explain, first-time bean voter Bruce Roberson said, "I suppose this means that East Texas is a representative area to gauge that sort of thing."

"It's not statistical, I don't think," he added. "Or maybe it's just luck, I don't know."

Luck or just a perfect sample, no one knows. But in fourteen years, the poll has been perfect. And unlike the last election, there have been no voting controversies.

Sweet Sue's General Manager Nathan Priest admits, "I've seen people cover up the holes with tape before, trying to block voters, but I haven't seen anybody stuff the jars yet."

Reid Kerr reporting.


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