If you don't like Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, you have other choices, and not just the four other candidates on Idaho’s presidential ballot, or the six others on Washington's.
Voters also can – and hundreds do – write in another name on a space provided. Those votes won't be counted unless the race between Obama and Romney is so close they would make a difference. Even though that’s unlikely in either state, that didn't keep 37 would-be White House occupants from filing as official presidential write-in candidates in Washington.
That’s a record number, Libby Nieland of the state elections office said, possibly because this is the first year Washington allowed online filing of the paperwork and because a website offers would-be candidates information and links to the 43 states that allow presidential write-ins.
It’s free in 42 of them. Kentucky charges $50.
The Washington list includes . . .
… a retired nurse and grandmother from Mead, a disabled appliance installer from Spokane and a Moscow, Idaho, contractor, as well as comedienne Roseanne Barr.
Barbara Ann Prokopich, 68, is running as a Republican who doesn’t agree with Romney’s policies although she would’ve picked Paul Ryan as a running mate, and thinks Obama is “making us a slave to big government.” The retired nurse said she’s been putting videos and sent out about 20,000 letters and brochures. She envisions a scenario where she has a “a very good chance of getting 40 percent of the votes” and winds up in the White House.
More realistic about his prospects is Brian Cane of Spokane, 50, who filed because “I can’t in good conscience vote for either” Obama or Romney.
“It gives me something to check off my bucket list,” Cane said of his candidacy. He’s talked to friends, and expects “at least five votes” although he realizes he’ll never know for sure. On Election Night, he’ll be watching the returns for something he’s more concerned about, the passage of the ballot measure to legalize marijuana for adults in Washington.
Gerald Warner of Moscow, Idaho, couldn’t be reached for a comment about his candidacy, but he has a campaign website explaining his adherence to the Boy Scout Code, his love of baseball and a desire to keep the United States the greatest country in the world.
Roseanne Barr is the official nominee of the Peace and Freedom Party, but that organization didn’t file the paperwork to make the ballot, so they filed her as a write-in. The Freedom Socialist Party is taking the same route and its vice presidential nominee Christina Gloria Lopez was in Spokane earlier this week.