Can you choose ‘none of the above’?

Elections are essentially multiple-choice tests.

You’re asked a question: Who do you want for this position? And you fill in the bubble.

You’re asked: Do you support taxpayer-funded abortion? And you fill in the bubble.

Typically a Democrat or a Republican is listed as A and B, in whatever order. Sometimes followed by C and D, usually some combination of Libertarian, Green, Independent, Conservative, etc.

What we really need is a bubble marked E.

As in: (E) None of the above [Nota].

What if you could vote [Nota]?

Speaking as someone who feels disheartened and frustrated, this election cycle has been disheartening for a lot of people. And many remain sick and tired of the condescension and guilt-tripping tactics used to convince us to vote for a certain candidate/issue.

What would happen if (E) prevailed? Everything stays the same for one year while the political parties reboot and try to deliver something or someone more palatable.

Remember when you’d work on a problem in school and get the answer wrong, the teacher would give you feedback, perhaps a hint or two, and send you back to your desk to try to come up with the right answer? That’s what voting for (E) would do.

Political parties would be sent back to their desks with some feedback. Such as: Don’t give us someone who is arrogant, untrustworthy, demeaning, conflicted, secretive or evasive.

Political candidates at all levels no longer represent we the people.

I’ll leave actual political candidates aside for now. Consider in the moment, what should a moral, civic-minded voter do? Do we have an obligation to vote for a candidate/issue that more closely embodies their beliefs? Or do we have an obligation to vote for a candidate/issue perceived as the lesser of evils, or the candidate/issue more likely to support a healthy society?

For an increasing number of citizens having to choose between the lesser of disappointing candidates and issues seems like being forced to vote for the lesser of evils.

Voters who didn’t like any candidate/issue on any ballot do not have the option to pick [Nota] to effectively register an official protest.

Anyone who really wanted to make a statement, only has one option. Don’t vote.

Here’s something you might not know about our election process. You aren’t allowed to snap a selfie of yourself posting your ballot, nor take a picture of your completed ballot.

Real voters rights means people should be able to withhold their consent, something you can’t do with silly write-ins. Mickey Mouse as a write-in just doesn’t send a message.

We deserve a real choice: Voting [Nota] would be like voting with your middle finger.

I’m With No One! Make Nobody Great Again!

I am asking our current elected officials to support a [Nota] Act as a way for voters to express their displeasure with candidates and trigger a special election if [Nota] wins a majority of votes.

In election after election, many voters feel ignored. Voters often feel they must choose between the lesser of evils. For me to choose between evils is evil.

Even a small [Nota] vote would send a clear message to a winning candidate: do your job.

There are many people like me who consider ourselves civically engaged, who routinely participate in the democratic process and get involved in political debate. For folks like me there should be an option to vote for [Nota].

[Nota] should never be equated to not voting at all.

Good day!

Robert Ware

French Creek

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