U.S. election: Weird things to reflect on besides the presidential battle

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton don't have a monopoly on all things bizarre in Election 2016.

Trump and Clinton don't have a monopoly on all things bizarre in Election 2016

Many Americans have already voted in advance polls for a U.S. election that has proven to be unlike any other. (Jonathan Drake/Reuters)

Most people agree that Tuesday's big event south of the border is unlike any U.S. election we've ever seen — partly because the presidential campaign reached a level of bizarre no one could have predicted.

But Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton don't have a monopoly on the weird or controversial in this race. Voters across the U.S. have plenty of oddities — ranging from the quirky to the disturbing — to reflect upon as they cast their ballots, not only in the presidential category but also in down-ballot races for federal-, state- and even municipal-level political offices.     

Sweet Meteor O'Death for president?

In a presidential campaign where the frontline of the battle has often been on social media, it may come as no surprise that bizarre alternative "candidates" have emerged on Twitter and Facebook. One of the most prominent — and pessimistic — is @SMOD2016, the twitter handle for "Sweet Meteor O'Death."  

The farcical account, which has amassed more than 37,000 followers, puts forward the notion that Americans are choosing between two presidential front-runners who are so unpopular that people would prefer an Earth-destroying meteor over voting for either one of them.

Sweet Meteor O'Death is not actually listed as a candidate on the ballot, but that apparently hasn't stopped a few people from using it as a statement in advance polls.

Now, moving down the ballot...

Assault rifles co-star with 2 Missouri candidates 

Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL in the race to become Missouri's next governor, used literal firepower in his campaign ad last June to try to set himself apart from his rivals seeking the Republican candidacy. 

"I'll take dead aim at politics as usual," Greitens says in the ad, then proceeds to fire several rounds from a rifle into a field, culminating in a large explosion. 

He then turns back to the camera and says, "If you're ready for a conservative outsider, I'm ready to fire away."

Democrat Jason Kander, Missouri's secretary of state and a former army captain who served in Afghanistan, also used a rifle in a campaign ad. Instead of firing it, Kander assembled the weapon — blindfolded — talking about how his support for background checks on would-be gun owners does not conflict with his allegiance to the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms).

The U.S. Senate hopeful was firing back against accusations by incumbent Republican Senator Roy Blunt's campaign that he was anti-gun.

Removing his blindfold after putting together the assault rifle, Kander ends the ad by saying, "I'd like to see Senator Blunt do this."

Fun fact: Another SNL alumnus running for office

Remember when comedian Al Franken — well known for his Saturday Night Live Stuart Smalley character — made headlines for his election to the U.S.Senate? Another SNL cast member, Gary Kroeger, is pursuing political aspirations of his own this election. 

Now 59, Kroeger returned to his home of Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 2003 to raise his sons following his acting and writing career. Last year, Kroeger announced he would run for U.S. Congress as a representative from Iowa but then decided to run for the Iowa House of Representatives instead.

Kroeger, was on Saturday Night Live from 1982 to 1985, keeping company with the likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eddie Murphy. One of the many people he impersonated on the show was former U.S. Vice-President Walter Mondale. Now that Election 2016 has arrived, Kroeger is sharing some of that nostalgia with his supporters. 

Sheriff sued for racial profiling seeks 7th term

Joe Arpaio is pushing to continue his 20-year career as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, amid a storm of controversy. 

Arpaio faces a federal contempt-of-court charge for allegedly violating orders to stop racially profiling Latinos. The orders were issued in 2013, after a judge ruled against the sheriff's office in a class-action lawsuit claiming widespread discrimination.  

On Saturday, the Latino community held a parade in Phoenix calling on citizens to vote against Arpaio, featuring a giant inflatable likeness of the sheriff in handcuffs, ThinkProgress reported. 

Follow the U.S. election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, with CBC News

CBC Online: Our day starts first thing in the morning at with news and analysis. Then as polls close, we'll have live results and insights into the conversations happening on the ground and online. We'll cover the story from a Canadian perspective until a new U.S. president is declared.

CBC Television: America Votes, the CBC News election special with Peter Mansbridge, starts at 8 p.m. ET on News Network and at 9 p.m. ET on CBC-TV. You can also watch our election special through the CBC News app on both AppleTV and Android TV, and on the CBC News YouTube channel.

CBC Radio One: Our election special hosted by Susan Bonner and Michael Enright starts at 8 p.m. ET.

With files from The Associated Press