At the time this late Friday dispatch is being typed, the race between the two major presidential candidates has yet to be officially decided, causing widespread anxiety among many of the 150 million or so Americans who voted for them.
There was no such problem for nearly 3 million U.S. voters who opted to cast ballots for the most appealing among the 1,216 write-in candidates who filed with election officials in order for their names to be listed, and their votes to be counted, in the 32 states willing to tabulate them. Surely, these voters knew the instant they wrote in their candidates’ names, they had no chance of winning.
One clue might have been the names of the 63 party affiliations listed by these fringe candidates, which ranged from the Grumpy Old Patriots to the Boiling Frog Party. Kanye West ran on the Birthday Party ticket in several states. Former child actor Brock Pierce, who apparently found the White House to his liking while starring in the 1996 Disney comedy “First Kid,” ran as a Home Shopping Party candidate in his write-in campaign.
Then there were the candidates’ names and their not-ready-for-primary-time political agendas. Take the case of the former Ramone Boddie, 46, a Georgia actor and playwright before seeking office as an independent write-in candidate.
Boddie had his name legally changed to President R19 Boddie after hearing the voice of God tell him Jan. 28, 2018, that the nation needed him to serve as president, according to a candidate profile produced by Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication. Boddie’s new middle name is the same assumed name he used to identify himself on a rap EP he recorded three years ago.
According to the profile, President R19 Boddie’s foreign policy is wrapped around the concept, also suggested directly by God, that the U.S. should merge with Israel to become a new superpower that would eventually “inherit” all other countries on Earth. From these newly inherited entities, an assortment of “powerful herbs” can be supplied and presented to citizens in a “modern medical format” to eliminate disease and suffering — not to mention relieve anxiety.
Once elected, Boddie plans to trump President Trump’s creation of a new Space Force military branch through creation of a white-uniformed Praise Force, charged with protecting churches and schools from harassment and mass shootings.
Boddie collected 1,287 votes in the 20 states in which he ran as a write-in candidate, a significant improvement over the 72 votes he drew running as a Republican in the 2010 New Hampshire primary.
Faring better in Tuesday’s election was Kanye West, who tallied a total of 63,762 votes. West collected 6,000 more votes than Don Blankenship, the former coal magnate with West Virginia roots, who ran on the Constitution Party ticket. West bested Blankenship in Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah and Vermont, according to returns posted Friday.
In Nevada, where Blankenship once resided before being sentenced to prison on charges stemming from the Upper Big Branch mine explosion, only two write-in candidates were officially certified to run. Blankenship was one of them, but luckily for him, West was not the other.
That honor fell to a write-in candidate listed as “None of These Candidates.”
The fictional fringe candidate beat Blankenship 11,764 to 2,703.