In Alabama, write-in candidates ranged from SpongeBob to Bugs Bunny

Faced with a choice at the ballot box between liberal Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore, accused of inappropriately touching teenage girls when he was in his 30s, hundreds of voters in conservative Alabama wrote in their own choices for the U.S. Senate, real and fictional. 

The 22,852 write-in votes cast on Dec. 12 included some perhaps unsurprising picks, like Alabama’s appointed U.S. Senator Luther Strange, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Alabama Republican Rep. Mo Brooks, according to records released by the Alabama Secretary of State. Others included real people who were unlikely candidates for office, like actor Clint Eastwood and University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban. 

Still, others were fictional characters or jokes, like Mickey Mouse, Ron Swanson of the NBC sitcom “Parks and Rec,” SpongeBob, Bugs Bunny and “U R Mom.”

Jones defeated Moore, 673,896 votes to 651,972 votes, winning by fewer than 22,000. But it’s extremely unlikely the write-in votes affected the final results. 

For weeks, Moore declined to concede, even filing a lawsuit in an attempt to keep Jones from the Senate Wednesday. But on Thursday, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill certified the election results, officially making Jones Alabama’s senator-elect. 

Only then did Moore issue a statement alluding to his loss, although still not admitting defeat. 

“Election fraud experts across the country have agreed that this was a fraudulent election. Even the Secretary of State himself was forced to stop fraudulent and intimidating advertisements from an organization known as Highway 31, predominantly funded by the Democratic Senate Majority PAC,” Moore said in a statement. “I’ve had to fight not only the Democrats but also the Republican Senate Leadership Fund and over $50 million in opposition spending from the Washington establishment. I have stood for the truth about God and the Constitution for the people of Alabama. I have no regrets. To God be the…

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