Well, here I go again: making suggestions that the powers that control our state will never consider. These have to do with election reforms. I have said in the past that all state sponsored elections should be non partisan, that political parties should have no special privilege in placing candidates on the ballot. Now I will suggest another ballot reform.
Every ballot should include for every race a space for voters to choose “none of the above.”
How often do you hear people say that they do not like any of the candidates in an election? Some of them say they will have to hold their nose and select “The lesser of two evils.”
Well, in my opinion, voters ought to have the ability to express that opinion by choosing “None Of The Above.” If “None Of The Above” wins, then a new election would be required and the candidates in the original election would not be eligible for the new election.
This should apply to all elections from Governor to Dog Catcher. It should especially apply to those elections in which only one candidate is on the ballot.
In Georgia, many local races never make it to the ballot simply because only one person qualifies. City officials are allowed to declare no election necessary assuming that the one person would vote for himself and thus his election is assured. That person then takes office without any endorsement by the voters. With a “None Of The Above” space on the ballot, voters would at least have an opportunity to approve or reject that candidate.
Because of the unique system of electing a president, this would not work in that election. But you can express your dislike for the major candidates in two ways. You can vote for third party or independent candidates, or you can leave the presidential election blank. The first method would be effective. A strong vote for a third party or independent would leave a record of your displeasure.
Leaving the ballot for President blank would have little or no impact because your “none” vote would not be recorded. Someone who cares enough to total up all presidential votes and compare that to the total number of voters could find that figure, but that is unlikely. The same is true of unregistered write in votes. They would be ignored.
So for the time being, you’re only way of expressing your displeasure over the major candidates in any race is to vote for a lesser candidate or leave that race blank. And I suspect that will not change. The chances of our current or future representatives giving us the option of voting for “None Of The Above” is remote.
If any of the third party or independent candidates start winning elections, we might have a chance at serious election reforms. But before then, there is not much chance of that happening.