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In a thoroughly predictable turn of events, Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul were the write-in champions of 2008 (by all accounts a banner year for write-ins). That makes plenty of sense, given that both Clinton and Paul boasted die-hard adherents with a bit of a disenfranchisement complex.

To paraphrase President-elect Obama: “When people get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward candidates who actually have a hope in hell.”

But to assume these two were the only major write-in players would be to underestimate the imagination and pluck of the American people. As Matt Dunn of the New Jersey Star-Ledger sagely observes:

Voters in Cumberland County unsatisfied with the choices given to them on Election Day chose to vote on their own terms in this year’s election. The write-in candidates stood little chance of defeating those candidates whose names were listed on the ballot, but that didn’t stop voters from exercising their right to vote for whomever they saw fit.

Below the jump, some of my favorite write-ins from Ohio, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Florida, and D.C.

Stark County, OH: Hello Kitty; Captain Morgan; Alfred E. Neuman; Ted Nugent; Jesus Christ the Lord; Jesus of Nazareth; Bengals wide receiver Chad Ocho-Cinco (1 vote apiece).

Cumberland County, NJ: Mitt Romney (3); Paris Hilton (1); Newt Gingrich (?)

New Hampshire: Bill Clinton (13); Chuck Baldwin (226); Sarah Palin (18).

Duval County, FL (via Ben Smith): Chuck Norris (2); Mickey Mouse (3); Rudy Giulliani [sic] (4); God (6); Weird Al Yancovic [sic] (1); “They Both Suck ’08” (1); “none of the above” (23)*.

Washington, D.C.: Ted Scheinman (at least 1).

If you require further proof that hope springs eternal, I can’t really help you out.

*Tied with Jesus.