Saturday, November 30, 2013

Voting "None of the Above"

Jack, a member of America Chooses, had a fantastic idea. He suggested that on all election ballots we add another option, “None of the above.” I've been giving that some thought and came up with a few ideas on how this could be done effectively.

If “None of the above” receives the most votes then the law should state that a new election be held within six months, or possibly the next year, and that none of the candidates in the previous election would be eligible to run. In the mean time the governor would select an acting US Representative or Senator, or whatever the office may be. In the second election “None of the above” likely wouldn't be on the ballot.

We could possible use this to at least temporarily override the 17th Amendment and have the state legislature appoint the Senator. It might be possible to always have “None of the above” on the Senate ballot. That would leave the power to circumvent the 17th Amendment in the voters' hands.

This doesn't make it perfect, but it at least pushes out the party favorites that no one likes. This could also work for other elections as well. On the county or city level the mayor or council could choose an acting office holder until the next election could be held.

I would love for something like this in primaries, but for presidential races it would be impossible to wait for the next year and would be a financial burden to hold another election within a few months. Also primaries are held by the parties and they can make their own rules. We could at least push for this idea within our own parties.

I think Jack is like myself and tired of poor choices come election time. Look at past elections where we ended up with presidential candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Over and over we see the same people running in elections. We find that party bigwigs tend to get their way. Jack's solution isn't perfect, but it's a start. We need new blood in elections. This would help us weed out those who make a career of holding the same office.

Another problem that faces us are filing fees required to run for office. The average person can't afford these fees. People might look to start an independent group through which they raise capital, put in place a minimum set of standards for candidates, and pay filing fees for those who meet that criteria. We have got to do something to get fresh blood on the ballots. Business as usual is no longer adequate.
We have got to start thinking out of the box. We must make it easier for independents to hold office.

For too long we have been accepting rules set by the power players. It's time we change the rules and put power back in the people's hands. As long as we remain sheep we will be susceptible to political wolves.

Give us your suggestions. We need everyone's help to change the system and make it work better for the people, not just the power brokers.

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