Chuck Norris, Elvis and Willie Nelson got their usual smattering of write-in votes in November's presidential election, the Texas Tribune finds in a review of results from Tarrant and Travis counties, the largest counties that actually count their write-in votes. But rising above all candidates getting write-in support is Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who ends his long and storied career in the U.S. House today.
Paul received 433 write-in votes in Tarrant County and 1,291 in Travis. Finishing second among write-ins in both counties was Jesus Christ, with 49 votes in Tarrant and 31 in Travis. Third in both counties was Hillary Clinton, with 33 write-in ballots in Tarrant and 30 in Travis.
Among others getting at least some support via write-in ballots in Texas: Jon Huntsman, Mickey Mouse, Colin Powell, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Tupac Shakur, Clark Kent, Jon Stewart, Chuck Norris, Elvis Presley and "Nobody."
Most of these votes were simply written in by voters, but Texas does allow people to register as certified write-in candidates. All they need are signatures from 38 people who would serve as presidential electors in case they win the popular vote statewide.
While write-in campaigns are typically unorganized and gather little public support or attention, some groups use the process to gain attention for various causes -- including religion. An independent website in 2012, for example, urged voters to write in ballots for Jesus Christ.
-- John Gravois