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Dr. Fauci, Kanye West, Jesus Christ among presidential write-in candidates in Rowan County

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Unlike the 2016 presidential election, far fewer Rowan County voters chose to write-in names for the presidential race this year.

In 2016, 642 Rowan Countians opted to write-in names for the presidential race. But in 2020, only 167 voters wrote in someone’s else’s name rather than casting a vote for President Donald Trump, Democrat Joe Biden or a third-party candidate.

Some of those write-ins include Donald Duck, “None of the above,” Jesus Christ, Madea and Kanye West. Others include former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, and  Dr. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist and leading member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Both Powell and Haley are well-known Republicans, who served former President George W. Bush and President Donald Trump’s administration, respectively.

All of those candidates received less than five votes, and are considered “miscellaneous” as they don’t officially count toward the final results.

Jade Simmons was the only official write-in candidate in North Carolina for the presidential race, but she wasn’t among the list of write-ins in Rowan County.

Simmons is a classical concert pianist who decided in January to run as an independent candidate for president. She received 119 votes across the state.

In addition to Simmons, 13,196 voters in North Carolina wrote in another name for the presidential race.

Far fewer votes cast for a third-party or Libertarian candidate in the 2020 general election signal more support among the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates this time compared to the 2016 election. This year, Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen received less than 1% of the vote in both Rowan County and across the state; she received 557 votes, 0.79%, in Rowan County and 48,678 votes, 0.88%, across the state.

By contrast, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 1,517 votes, 2.36%, in the county in 2016, and he received 130,126 votes, 2.74%, in North Carolina in 2016.

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