Know your choices

Fed up with the three candidates on the ballot? Options are limited

With the mood of the electorate the way it is, one might assume there will be a record turnout this November – for write-in candidates, if nothing else.


Many folks are expressing displeasure with the only three presidential choices on the Georgia ballot: Democrat Hillary Clinton, Republican Donald Trump and Libertarian Gary Johnson.

Even staunch conservatives who might be persuaded to vote for a Libertarian have been dumbfounded by Johnson’s campaign performance – which included complete ignorance of what “Aleppo” is.

While that might not be common knowledge on the streets and in the cafes of America, a serious candidate for president should have known that Aleppo was a key hot spot in the battle for control of Syria and against terror-group ISIS. For all Johnson knew in a recent interview, Aleppo could’ve been the latest wonder drug.

We have heard several voters say they’re flirting with writing someone in for president.

But there’s even a catch there, at least in Georgia: You may only vote for “qualified” write-in candidates, if you want your vote to be counted.

In the Peach State, write-in candidates must qualify. For state and federal offices, such as president, one must fill out forms at the Secretary of State’s office and put an ad in a newspaper of general circulation announcing one’s candidacy (and be able to prove that you did).

A total of 17 write-in candidates have done that this year in Georgia. They are:

Stephen L. Allen

Robert Buchanan

David C. Byrne

Darrell Castle

Loren Collins

Scott Cubbler

Claire Elisabeth Elliott

Cherunda Fox

Thomas Hoefling

Laurence Kotlikoff

Mike Maturen

Evan McMullin

Ricky Muhammad

Michael L. Smith

Jill Stein

Marc Urbach

Sandra Wilson

Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey says the above names of qualified write-in candidates will also be on display at voting places.

Conventional wisdom is that voting for anyone other than the Republican or Democrat is a wasted vote. But at least in Georgia, a write-in vote for anyone other than the people on this list truly is a vote that’s thrown away. It’s not counted at all.

Sorry, Mickey Mouse.

We have yet to endorse in the presidential race; stay tuned. But if you’re shopping around and are wondering about the people above, we’ve heard a buzz in favor of Evan McMullin – a former CIA employee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs senior advisor, and chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.

Again, this is not an endorsement – merely an observation, and a reminder that even with regard to write-ins, your choices are limited.

Indeed, even while providing the above information as a public service, it’s hard to recommend write-in votes for president. Again, practically speaking, this is a two-person race.

The only real choice is whether to register your voice or just make a statement.



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