• Ever had the feeling you'd just rather skip an election than have to pick the least unqualified candidate? That none of them are worth taking off work and going to the poll to vote for viagra?
• Yeah? Me too .
• Tired of being unable to reject unsuitable or unopposed candidates?
• Tired of the same, predictable faces put up by the Democrats and Republicans at election time?
• Tired of holding your nose to select the least worst choice, and yet having the winner preposterously claim a "mandate from the voters"?
• Tired of arrogant, out-of-touch civics experts attributing low voter turn out to apathy, poor citizenship and ignorance?
A special election would cost money to implement. And? The point? Voters are smart enough to realize this. It's our tax money. We can spend it on improving the quality of public officials if we so choose. A candidate who wins an election including a NOTA option has the right to genuinely claim victory. This should appeal to honest public servants. It would give them a credibility they don't currently enjoy. The public would be more inclined to accept the legitimacy of representatives who win their jobs in this scenario. Even those who voted for others than the winner, (including NOTA), would have to admit the result more accurately represents the collective will of the people. Career pols across Tennessee will never willingly enact this fix into law as it would weaken their huge advantage of incumbency in re-election bids. As it stands now, many of the worst of these jokers have no, or mere token, opposition when they run. They have the organizational power of their parties and the bulging wallets of special interests groups and lobbyists who control them.
Tennessee NOTA Results & Upcoming Elections
We are a nonpartisan organization dedicated to enacting Voter Consent laws, giving voters the ballot option to reject all candidates for an office and to call for a new election with new candidates to fill that office.
We take no position on any other issue; we neither endorse nor oppose any candidacy or party. We welcome the support of all who want to enact Voter Consent laws.
In any state with a permanent, binding "None of the Above" on the ballot, the list of candidates for each office would be followed by the votable line "NOTA - For a new election", or something similar.
If NOTA gets more votes than any candidate for the office, then no one is elected to that office; instead, a follow-up by-election with new candidates must be held to fill that office, until a candidate wins a plurality of votes among all other candidates including "None of the Above." "None of the Above" on the ballot has many thoughtful advocates, including The Wall Street Journal and RalphNader . Nevada has had a non-binding NOTA on the ballot since 1976. (See NOTA options for the full range of binding and non-binding NOTA Voter Consent ballot options.)
In the United States, except for the offices of President and Vice President, elections for all local, state and federal offices are controlled for the most part by the laws of each state, matters such as nomination requirements, runoffs and by-elections are left largely to the states.
So state election laws can specify methods of election such as runoffs and "None of the Above" Voter Consent ballot option. as they have in Nevada.
• All legitimate consent requires the ability to withhold consent; "None of the Above" gives the voter the ballot option to withhold consent from an election to office, just as voters can cast a "No" vote on a ballot question.
• Would end the "must hire" elections where voters are often forced to vote for the least unacceptable candidate, the all too familiar "lesser evil."
• A candidate must obtain voter consent to be elected, even if running unopposed.
• Voters would decide the fate of the political parties' choices, instead of the parties deciding the voters' choices.
• It should reduce negative campaigning by encouraging candidates to campaign for their own candidacy rather than against their opponent's candidacy.
• Many voters and non voters, who now register their disapproval of all candidates for an office by not voting, could cast a meaningful vote.
• The meaning of elections should become more clear, since voters would no longer be tempted to vote for a presumed losing candidate, with whom they really do not agree, as a protest vote.
• Establishes flexible, voter controlled term limits of one term for every office, as the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended.
• Campaign contributors who give to all candidates to insure "access" would no longer be sure they backed the winner; in general, buying elections should become a more uncertain enterprise.
• Improves checks and balances between voters and political parties, especially needed in jurisdictions with one dominant political party or nearly identical alternatives.
• Political parties would nominate candidates knowing those candidates must be a better choice for voters than "None of the Above."
• Follow-up by-elections are far less costly than electing unacceptable candidates to office.
• Office holders, knowing they face "None of the Above" in the next election, would be encouraged to insure their re-election by focusing more on doing a good job in office and less on attempting to prevent the emergence of an effective opposition candidate.
• When pre-election polls include "None of the Above", the feedback from voters should help guide candidates and parties.
• Even when "None of the Above" does not win or is a non-binding NOTA, the reported NOTA vote would help identify those offices for which voters might be more receptive to new candidates in a future election as well as limits the winner's mandate.
• Provides a permanent option for voters to withhold consent that is independent of expensive and infrequent candidate based "reform" movements.
• Should make public service more attractive by improving the quality of those elected to office.
• Opportunities for election fraud should be reduced because fewer blank votes for an office would be cast.
• Applies to all candidates and parties equally.
• It is a relatively simple, fair, sensible, accomplishable and permanent improvement to our current system, hopefully making for a more democratic and ultimately stronger America.
You can help spread the word about Voter Consent laws by,
• Informing yourself about NOTA/Voter Consent laws and understanding their importance.
• Writing letters about Voter Consent to your local, regional, and national newspapers and magazines whenever a story or editorial presents an opportunity.
• Calling radio and TV call in shows about Voter Consent.
• Calling radio and TV stations and suggest they do a story on Voter Consent.
• Writing op-ed articles about Voter Consent and contacting the editors of newspapers and magazines suggesting they cover the issue.
• Speaking to other members of organizations to which you belong that may take an interest in helping enact Voter Consent laws.
• Voting a write-in "None of the Above" if you decide not to vote for any candidate for an particular office.
• Telling candidates and office holders their support for Voter Consent is important to you.
• Using the ideas presented here in your conversations, letters or calls.
The following are more in depth discussions of NOTA, including endorsements of NOTA as well as discussions of issues and concerns related to implementing NOTA.
The Wall Street Journal, Editorial, June 3, 1996
In the Public Interest, by Ralph Nader
The Boston Globe, Editorial, September 16, 1990
The Union Leader - New Hampshire Sunday News, Editorial, May 18, 1992
None of the Above -- The People's Veto, by Gary Hoover
'None of the Above' on Pennsylvania election ballots, by Steve Lilienthal
The Case For None Of The Above, by Tony Miller, Acting Secretary of State of California
NOTA: Cutting the Big Boys Down To Size, by Ralph Nader
The Right To Vote No: NOTA Ballot Options, by John J. Pitney, Jr.
Binding NOTA, by John Murray, Washington State Campaign for Democracy
Commentary by Jim Hightower