Updated 10/27/2012 01:19 PM
"None of the Above" option for elections
If you live in the city of Syracuse, four out of the 10 races you can vote in only have one candidate. Several other races have the same candidates running as the last time the seat was up for election. Our Katie Gibas tells us why many people are fighting for an official "None of the Above" option.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- When you vote, do you ever find yourself settling for a candidate that's just okay? Well, you're not alone.
"I have been a proponent for many years of the "None of the Above" option being on the ballot," said Grant Reeher, the Director of SU's Maxwell School's Campbell Public Affairs Institute.
"None of the Above" is an option in a few countries including Australia, where if "None of the Above" wins a race, a new election with new candidates is held. Here in the states, the movement is gaining traction because of a general dissatisfaction with the candidates. For example, the 53rd State Senate Race, the 120th Assembly, 126th Assembly and 129th Assembly Districts don't have any challengers. A number of races also have the winner and loser of the last election facing off again.
"I think that would provide that particular voter with something more positive than either to use the cliche and holding their nose and voting for one of them or just not voting at all because they just can't get excited about any of the candidates there for that particular office," said Reeher.
Some races with the same candidates from the last election are the 127th State Assembly District and the 21st and 24th Congressional Districts.
"The the Buerkle-Maffei race, that was in 2010 was razor close. It couldn't have gotten any closer. So the idea of a rematch was already there as a likely possibility from day one," said Reeher.
As for Doheny and Owens in the 21st, "The issues haven't changed. And you've got someone who's been in office and now there's two more years to the record and they can have a different kind of conversation and dialogue and debate," explained Reeher.
"None of the Above" is gaining popularity. There are a handful of organizations that have created e-petitions to get it listed as an official option. But so far, little progress has been made.
"It's been experimented with a little bit in this country but not very much. There are a couple states that have tried variations on it. But it is not something we've seen too much in this country," said Reeher.
There is a write in option on the ballot. Proponents of the "None of the Above" option hope if enough people write that in, it will eventually become an official option.
Nevada has a "None of the Above" option, but it's future could be in jeopardy. It was struck down by a district judge but upheld in an appeal. "None of the Above" can't win a race.