CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Voters unimpressed with the line-up of candidates on the Nov. 6 ballot can opt among 40 additional choices, including comedienne Roseanne Barr and Santa Claus.
The secretary of state's office has certified 40 write-in candidates for the general election -- a requirement under state election in order to have write-in votes tabulated on election night.
A total of 26 candidates have filed certificates of announcement as write-in candidates for president.
However, that list does not include Keith Judd, the Texas prison inmate who drew nearly 41 percent of the vote in the May primary against President Barack Obama.
According to correspondence with the secretary of state's office, Judd, who is completing a 171/2-year sentence in the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, had submitted a letter requesting that he be a write-in candidate for president.
The secretary of state's office, in a response dated Sept. 17, advised Judd that he would need to complete and have notarized an official certificate of announcement as a write-in.
However, that was just one day before the deadline for the secretary of state's office to certify write-in candidates for the November ballot.
The presidential list includes Barr, star of the long-running comedy series "Roseanne," who is running a national write-in campaign. Her issues include legalization of marijuana and easier ballot access for candidates.
"She is an official write-in candidate," Jake Glance, spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said of the comedienne's filing. "I think hers came in on the last day."
Also running for president is an Incline Vig, Nev., resident whose legal name is Santa Claus. Formerly known as Thomas O'Connor before his name change in 2005, Claus also was certified in 2008, and will receive any write-in votes that are cast in his name, either intentionally or facetiously.
The list of presidential hopefuls also includes two West Virginians, Robert Brown of Summersville and Cam Ray Lemley of Core.
Write-ins also include two candidates for the U.S. Senate: Sheirl Fletcher of Morgantown, who lost to Sen. Joe Manchin in the 2010 and 2012 Democratic primaries, as well as Jeff Becker of Terra Alta.
Meanwhile, among the three write-in candidates for governor are two semi-familiar names: Phil Hudok of Huttonsville, a frequent Constitution Party candidate, and Frankie Rocchetti of Crumpler, who ran for governor in 1996.
Rocchetti distinguished himself from a large field of fringe candidates in that Democratic primary when, during a statewide televised debate, he proposed a solution to the solid waste landfill issues of the era: A device he'd invented to grind up garbage and pump it into state forests.
Other write-in candidates for statewide office are: Barbara Lynn Spurlock of Huntington, for governor; John Klayton Miller of Fort Ashby, for auditor; and Carl Waggoner of White Sulphur Springs, and Betty Quintana of Blacksville, for agriculture commissioner.
Reach Phil Kabler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1220.