Just eight names will appear on Idaho ballots under “United States President.” But another 37 people filed as write-ins by Tuesday, this fall’s cutoff date for such candidates to declare their interest.
Write-in candidates get just a tiny amount of the vote each year, even in more local races. But presidential elections tend to draw out a crowd of them, whether it’s people attempting a real challenge or just seeking attention for a particular cause.
This year’s list includes several Idahoans — Timothy Helgerson of Nampa, Chris Lacy of Boise, Steven Malloy of Pocatello — but largely consists of candidates from out of state. Florida, Virginia, Texas, Ohio are all represented.
Presidential races will sometimes attract joke write-ins like Santa Claus. This year, not in Idaho, it seems.
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Idaho’s ballot already features six third-party alternatives to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green Party, but running here as an independent) are the other two who’ve gotten some national attention this year.
We’ve got essentially two Constitution Party choices: Scott Copeland won that party’s Idaho primary in May, but Darrell Castle is its national candidate. Here Castle is an independent.
Finally, Evan McMullin has presented himself nationally as a mainstream conservative alternative to Donald Trump — one new poll this week claims he could reach 22 percent of the vote in Utah. And Rocky de la Fuente tried to run for the Democratic nomination, but now represents the Reform and American Delta parties (once again, he’s an independent here) with a major focus on federal election reform.
So who are you considering at this point in the campaign?