[EM] The None of the Above Chorus:

I Like Irving donald at mich.com
Thu Apr 19 06:13:41 PDT 2001

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 04/18/01
Greetings list,

Tom Ruen wrote: "I like the idea of including a None-of-the-Above."

Anthony Simmons wrote: "I like that idea too."

Dear Tom and Tony,

     I join your chorus, I also like None-of-the-Above.

The concept of None of the Above is used in some countries.  The more I
think about it the more I feel that it has a place.  It gives the people a
bit more control in an election.  Its most apparent value is in the
situation when the number of candidates running for an office is the same
as the number of positions to be filled.  No candidate should be guaranteed
winning an election because of no opposition.  All candidates must face the
mathematical possibility of losing. If only one candidate is running for a
single position like mayor then the opposition for that candidate should be
None Of The Above.  If None Of The Above pulls more votes than the lone
candidate then that candidate loses.  The follow up election will have no
trouble gaining extra candidates now that it is known that this one
candidate is a loser.

     There are times that prove the concept of None Of The Above is needed.
In the Sterling Heights-Michigan election of 1995, eighteen thousand
people voted in the election but only eight thousand voted in the mayor's
race for the lone candidate. There was turmoil in the city close to the
election. Most of the people wanted him out. He was a loser but he still
got elected.
For the elector to merely not vote an election does not help him to express
his non-approval of all the candidates, it is best if the voter has the
option to vote for None of the Above.

     Most elections will have enough candidates running for the office but
the position of None Of The Above should still be there on the ballot.  The
voters may not like any of the candidates of a certain election race. The
voters should have the right to say so in the ballot box.  If None Of The
Above gains enough votes to take some positions then regular candidates
fail to be elected.  This means that the voters have determined that some
candidates are not qualified.  The voters should not be forced to hire
unqualified candidates to fill positions.  We voters should always think
that we are hiring someone to work for us when we are electing candidates.
If a follow up election is decided on, new candidates should be easy to get
now that it is known that some of the current ones are losers.

Ranked choices elections will be able to handle the concept of None of the
Above better than other methods like Plurality.
One of the choices should be `NoOne' and should be treated the same as any
ranked choice, that is, it can be used in any ranked order like any
candidate.  If so, then this should prove to be the best way to give the
option of None of the Above in ranked elections.

In a Plurality election, a few votes for None of the Above could deny us a
majority winner.  In a Top Two runoff election, this same few votes could
force a runoff election.  But in an Irving election, NoOne, if having the
lowest votes would be eliminated and the votes would be transferred to
lower choices, if there were any lower choices.  Anyway, we would get a
majority winner.
     If the NoOne votes were greater in number so as to hold the first or
second spot, then the third candidate would be eliminated and either the
remaining candidate or NoOne would be the majority winner.

Plurality-at-Large:  Because the voters in this type of an election will
have as many votes as seats to fill, there should also be as many None of
the Above positions to cast votes for as there are seats to fill, plus the
requirement that a candidate must receive a number of votes equal to a
majority of the voters.
In the case of Full Choice (STV) election, if enough `NoOne' choices are
able to control two quotas then two seats are not filled.

Regards, Donald Davison

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