PHOENIX — Terrified about Donald Trump?
Hillary Clinton leave you in a cold sweat?
And can’t bring yourself to back either Libertarian Gary Johnson or Jill Stein of the Green Party?
You do have some other choices in Arizona — in the form of write-ins.
No, not South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham as our own state’s senior senator, John McCain, suggested this past week he may vote for rather than his party’s nominee. Nor Mike Pence, officially Trump’s running mate, who is being mentioned by some Republicans as a better alternative to the party’s official pick.
That’s because Arizona law says only the write-in votes of only those who have previously registered and submitted a slate of electors are actually tallied.
Neither Graham nor Pence has done that. So writing in one of their names would be the equivalent of writing in “Mickey Mouse.”
But 16 presidential wannabes did, in fact, meet the write-in deadline. And if history is any indication, they’ll get some votes – though not many.
Consider: Four years ago Virgil Goode tallied 289 votes in his bid to oust Barack Obama. The six-term congressman from Virginia is not on the ballot this time, choosing to back Trump.
Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was the choice of another 119 Arizona voters.
Add in Jill Reid, Sheila Tittle, Will Christensen even Sedona resident Dennis Knill and you’ll find the votes of another 44 Arizonans.
Now, to be sure, all of this was barely a blip on the political radar screen. And it clearly did not affect the outcome of the race, with Republican Mitt Romney getting the state’s 11 electoral votes by beating Democrat incumbent Obama by 1,233,654 to 1,025,232.
But the small number of votes isn’t keeping others from hoping that there’s a path to the presidency through write-in status.
One contender who has actually gathered national attention is Evan McMullin.
A former CIA employee, the Utah native was a senior adviser to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs and later became chief policy director of the House Republican Conference.
While he’s just a write-in in Arizona and more than two dozen other states, he has made the ballot in 11 states including Utah. And, according to a poll conducted there this past week, McMullin is the choice of 22 percent of voters in that state; Clinton and Trump are tied at 26 percent each.
There are some other names on the official write-in list that might be familiar to Arizonans.
One Rocky De La Fuente, who ran earlier this in the state’s Democratic presidential preference primary — and picked up 2,797 votes against Clinton’s 262,459 and 192,962 for Bernie Sanders. He is now trying to get to the White House through the write-in process.
Sheila Tittle is back again, undeterred by the fact she picked up only six votes in Arizona in 2012, four of them from Pima County.
And for voters who want “locally sourced” candidates, there are even two Arizonans on this year’s list: Mitchell In-Albon who lists a Phoenix post office box, and Michael Corsetti of Fort Mohave.