"None of the above" option

In this election cycle, I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that there’s absolutely no candidate I can, in all conscience, support. Every one of them, regardless of party, has major shortcomings. Should there be a way to indicate my displeasure with them, while still indicating that I’m not too lazy/apathetic to vote?

Of course, it shouldn’t be possible for NotA to actually win an election.

I say, yes, it should be possible to reject a whole field of candidates. Let there be a “none of the above” line in every election. Should that option actually garner a majority, a new election is automatically scheduled, in which none of the rejected candidates are eligible.

And spend another 18 months and billions of dollars choosing new candidates?

Given that the presidential election has to be coordinated among 50 states plus DC, how would you go about getting new candidates that were acceptable and wanted to run?

Sooner or later, we have to make a decision or government grinds to a halt.

In the past I often voted for a third party candidate in general elections, knowing they didn’t stand a chance, but wanting to show my displeasure with the main slate.

Write in vote. It’s all that’s left when neither party can get their head out of their ass.

Obviously, if this were a possibility, parties and electoral boards would have to take it into account.

It would be far likelier to happen at a subnational level.

Just found this on CNN politics.

*Gallup found that nearly three in 10 Americans felt that none of the candidates running for office this year would make a good president. *

That’s damn near 1/3. That’s pretty significant.

I get the argument, I’m just having trouble squaring it with the notion that the candidates were in effect nominated by your fellow citizens. If they in their collective wisdom have selected two candidates (yes there are other parties but let’s keep it real) for you to choose from, I think the time to make your displeasure known about these choices is before they are made.

Granted. But as we’ve seen, the problem starts upstream of the actual election. None of the above would have a plausible chance to win quite a few primaries for either party.

IOW, if you start with a pile of toxic sludge, distilling it further will not produce a fine Cabernet.

I lived for 15 years in Nevada. Which had “None of the Above” as a choice on every state ballot office. It was a nice gesture, and occasionally NotA got the plurality.

If NotA did win the plurality the result was to discard those votes and declare the second place runner-up the actual winner.

If we had a system more like Australia’s where you prioritize your votes from most to least favored, AND we added in a NotA option, that could be a powerful way for folks to register their displeasure in a way the parties could see, while still letting the people retain influence.

An interesting variation would be to have secondary and tertiary votes count for some declining fraction of a whole vote. e.g. if your first choice wins, your vote counts for 1 vote. If he/she is instead eliminated, your second choice vote counts for 90% of 1 vote. etc.

Alas, we’ll never see any of this fancy stuff in the ignorant and tradition-bound US of A.

These citizens you speak of, are they the same ones who put Trump where he is? Collective wisdom?

Other than that, I think you miss one big point. We don’t select those running for the nomination, we have to select (theoretically) someone who has their name on it. Sometimes, there’s just no good fit.

OK. So what do you want done if you vote none-of-the-above? Do you think the perfect candidate, who did not want the job the first time around, will come forth and submit his name?

Sometimes the masses demand a candidate who is unsuitable. That’s a bug and a feature.

There is a problem with good people not trying to get nominated. Perhaps the corruption of money in politics has finally reached a point where you have to be bought before you can be sold.

It sometimes happens in a democracy that the voters don’t vote for the people you wish they would. The only alternative is a better class of voters.

Wasn’t there a movie where there was a big “None of the Above” campaign?

Ah, yes! Brewster’s Millions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXEglx-or6k

If neither of the Presidential nominees floats my boat, I’ll vote for the party less likely to damage the country. For one thing, the President nominates Supreme Court justices–which may hold office for a long time.

If you can’t tell the parties apart, don’t bother to vote.

It’s not quite that easy. In California, you can’t just write in any name (although there is a space to do so on the ballot for each election that is not Yes/No); there are some hoops you have to jump through in order to be eligible.

As for “None of the Above,” I have long been a proponent of doing this in conjunction with mandatory voting - if you don’t vote because you don’t want to vote, you can now make that clear, rather than everybody having to guess if it was because of apathy, non-interest, or voter suppression.

Don’t worry, the movers and shakers are keenly aware of the opinions of the American people, especially why they do or don’t vote. Know thy enemy and all.

NOTA would get a lot of votes but it wouldn’t change anything.

By November, when there are only two candidates to choose from, we may like neither choice. But I have trouble understanding why, with more than a dozen to choose from, no candidate floats your boat.

Kasich seems fine if you’re looking for a competent right-winger.
Clinton seems fine if you’re looking for a competent centrist, assuming you’ve not drunk the Foster-suicide Lewinski-Benghazi Gategate-Gate Koolaid.
O’Malley and Sanders seem fine choices if you’re looking for left-of-center, or leftist.
Paul is available if you’re an audit-the-Fed nut.
There’s at least one bombastic populist to choose from, as well as some if Christianity is your key.

@ OP - which of the many candidates comes closest to your ideal and why do you find him/her unacceptable? Name the person NOT running you’d be eager to endorse.