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
David C. Byrne
Claire Elisabeth Elliott
Michael L. Smith
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.