California Democrats who head to the polls on Tuesday to vote in their state’s presidential primary will see only President Obama’s name listed on the ballot, along with a spot to write-in another option.
It’s important that voters looking to register their displeasure with Obama understand that any write-in candidates must have filed paperwork with the state of California in order to have votes cast for them be counted and reported by the Secretary of State’s office. What that means is that any write-in votes cast for someone like Dennis Kucinich or Hillary Clinton, or any non-filed candidate, would be discarded as invalid.
Only three candidates successfully completed the paperwork to become official write-in candidates, according to the Los Angeles County Clerk’s office.
Two of the men are total unknowns: LUIS ALBERTO RAMOS, JR. and MICHAEL W.R. MEYER, JR.
The third candidate, and the only one likely to attract any real support, is historian, author and progressive activist DARCY RICHARDSON.
Richardson filed as a protest candidate against President Obama several months ago, appearing on the ballot in five states and as a write-in candidate in a few others. He had campaigned on a platform calling for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, separating commercial banking from investment banking, a national credit system, and a massive TVA-like infrastructure program centered around the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA), originally proposed by the late U.S. Sen. Frank Moss (D-Utah) in the 1960s. He also called for an immediate end to the war in Afghanistan.
Combined, Richardson has won nearly 50,000 votes in the contests held thus far, including more than 25,000 votes in last Tuesday’s Texas primary — some six weeks after suspending his campaign.
The state of California has an excellent record of tabulating and reporting write-ins for properly filed candidates. Although he suspended his campaign for the Democratic nomination several weeks ago, any write-in votes cast for Richardson would be reported as a protest against President Obama’s policies.
On Tuesday, it will be interesting to see if at least a few voters take the step of writing in Darcy Richardson’s name.