Monday, October 10, 2016

None Of The Above - A Proposal

As the election grows closer and we all see that neither major candidate for President is fit to attain that high office, as well as there being no real viable third-party candidate, I feel I must once again bring forth an idea that I and a number of others have put forth more than once over the years.

While our present ballot system gives us a number of candidates to vote for (or against) for a number of offices small and great, it still leaves out a good portion of the electorate who feel they cannot in good conscience vote for any of the candidates listed on the ballot. While write-ins have at times won some elections, usually local elections, it isn't enough. The present system does not allow the electorate to truly show their displeasure at a slate of candidates. Since staying home and not voting signifies nothing and shows nobody our true feelings, it's time to make a long overdue change in our ballot system.

To what do I refer?

None Of The Above.

None Of The Above should be a valid selection in every election, local, state, or national. None Of The Above gives those who would otherwise be silent a true voice in our election system. None Of The Above allows the people a true means of voicing their displeasure.

This is how it would work:

In any election, if None Of the Above receives a plurality or majority of the votes, the election must be run again for the office or offices affected. The new election will be held in a specified time not to exceed two months from the original election date.

Here's the kicker: none of the candidates who ran during the first election will be eligible to run in the second election, period. After all, the people already kicked them to the curb because they didn't want them to represent them in the first place.

A new slate of candidates will file to run and a committee to choose new candidates will be selected by lot from the pool of registered voters. Democrats will select the Democrat candidate(s), Republicans will select the Republican candidates, Independents will select Independent candidate(s), and so on.

If the offices needing new candidates are for President and/or Vice President, the same process will be used at state level and the political parties will hold a national convention to choose their candidate for each office. The convention cannot last more than two days from the time it convenes. The candidates wishing to be considered will have three weeks to file for candidacy in each state for a small nominal fee. Use of properly vetted proxies or representatives to file the necessary paperwork in each state will be allowed.

While this can create chaos if not handled properly, it does give those who would otherwise not vote because of the poor quality of candidates a chance to let their opinions be known. If candidates are so awful that the electorate doesn't want to vote for them, this gives the people a chance to remove them from consideration and replace them with more acceptable candidates.

Is this plan perfect? Of course not. In fact I'm sure it needs major revisions. But we need to start somewhere.

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