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Write-in hopefuls eye White House

Motivations are as varied as candidates’ résumés

Voters who don’t like Barack Obama or Mitt Romney have other choices, and not just the four other candidates on Idaho’s presidential ballot or the six others on Washington’s.

They also can – and hundreds do – write another name in 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 comedian 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.

Brian Cane, 50, of Spokane, 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.

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, 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; its vice presidential nominee, Christina Gloria Lopez, was campaigning in Spokane earlier this week.