The White House is taking part in a vaunted executive branch tradition: the turkey pardon.
It has been customary for the president to receive a bird in front of the cameras since the 1940s, according to History.com. But the turkey pardoning ceremony officially began in 1989 during the administration of George H.W. Bush.
White House Takes to Twitter
Now the Trump administration is polling people on social media to decide which of two turkeys, Corn or Cob, to pardon this year. On Monday, the White House took to Twitter to ask people to vote.
“Which turkey should President Trump pardon at this year’s National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardoning Ceremony—Corn or Cob?” the White House tweeted.
“Meet your National Thanksgiving Turkey candidates!” the White House continued. “First up, ‘Corn,’ who loves college football and hopes to visit the Iowa State Fair one day.”
“‘Cob’ likes to play pickleball and wants to see the monuments in Washington, D.C.!” the White House added. “Don’t forget to vote for the National Thanksgiving Turkey! Polls are open for 24 hours.”
Turkey Farmers from Iowa
But where do the turkeys come from? Every year, the chairman of the National Turkey Federation gets to bring two turkeys from his or her farm to Washington, WIZM reports.
Ron Kardel and his wife Susie have the honor this year. They are the eighth Iowa family to bring turkeys to the White House.
The turkey pardoning ceremony is still scheduled to take place. At the ceremony, the audience will be smaller than usual. The seats will be socially distanced, and people will be required to wear masks, per The Hill.
Regardless of which bird wins the Twitter vote, both turkeys will be spared from early death in the service of a Thanksgiving meal.
After their adventures in the nation’s capital, the turkeys will go home to Iowa State University to take part in teaching and outreach activities.