Matthew Shugart mshugart at weber.ucsd.edu
Mon Mar 4 11:52:50 PST 1996

Let us not forget that one very crucial purpose of elections is to produce
a result.  I don't like "non of the above" options because it raises the
potential of not filling a seat.  In the case of a single congressional
district, that is bad for those citizens, but not a disaster for the
country.  But what if the presidency can't be filled, because NOTA (or
NOTB) keeps "winning"?  That could be a constitutinal crisis.  So could the
inability ot fill a quaorum of seats in either house.

Some ex-Soviet republics (e.g. Ukraine, Belarus) have similar rules, in
effect.  Some require very high victory threshods, such as either requiring
a high turnout to validate the election, or that a candidate must receive
50%+1 of the *potential* electortate to win a seat.  Recently, Belarus went
several months without a congress because the threshold had not been
reached in most districts.  Ukraine has many seats unfilled.

This is what could conceivably happen if we had NOTB options.  Think about it.

Matthew Shugart
Associate Professor of Political Science

Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519

Phone:  619-534-5016
Fax:     619-534-3939
E-mail:  mshugart at ucsd.edu

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