New Hampshire loves being first.
But being first isn’t the same as being the best. The “Live Free or Die” state that also gets the first vote in Presidential Primaries is now considering a proposal to add “none of the above” to contests between candidates.
Apparently, you just aren’t living free enough if you have only one candidate for an election and you are forced to vote for that person or not vote at all.
And why should voters have to choose between the two, three or fifteen candidates that file their candidacy for office?
Sure you could live free or die and actually file to run yourself if you don’t like the other guy, but instead of encouraging more participation, they encourage voters to actively vote passive aggressively in the ballot box.
Nothing says “I’m making a point” like an anonymous voter checking the box by “none of the above” to register a protest.
That isn’t quite on par with civil rights leaders being sprayed with fire hoses and chewed on by police dogs in the street, but some people just need a chance to protest by saying “It’s probably fine but I am really not excited about it.”
Apparently, this bill is actually a shot at Mickey Mouse.
“Real choice means people have to be able to withhold their consent,” bill sponsor Charles Weed said. “You can’t do that with silly write-ins. Mickey Mouse is not as good as ‘none of the above.’”
I don’t know about that logic. If a candidate lost to Mickey Mouse, would there really be less dignity in that than if you lost to None of the Above?
I can’t imagine either one being included on a resume.
But this bill isn’t about logic. If it were, the authors would have realized that their candidates aren’t even listed vertically anymore. So the choice of “none of the above” would actually be beside the other choices instead of below them. There wouldn’t be any candidates “above” none of the above.
From physical location to electoral theory, this bill wasn’t very well thought out.
There are two ways to quantify how ridiculous this bill is.
First, only Nevada currently allows this on ballots. Nevada also legalized prostitution. I don’t know that you want to go all in with the “be more like Nevada” campaign.
Page 2 of 2 - Also, what happens if voters live free rather than dying and overwhelmingly choose none of the above? They have a special election.
Is the theory that better candidates will come out of the woodwork if a candidate is shamed by losing to none of the above?
This is foolish.
Hopefully, New Hampshire won’t become the second state to allow this non-committal choice in the ballot box. In fact, I hope voters become committed to removing people from office who thought this idea was worthy of consideration.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: email@example.com