Fixing USA Voter Apathy/Disengagement
The USA is ranked among the worst in developed nations in voter turnout, according to the Pew Research Center, which placed the USA 31st out of 35 countries.
A “None of the Above” (NOTA) option should be placed on the ballot and/or a blank space provided for last minute nominations.
If by chance the NOTA or scratch vote wins the election, then formal procedures should be in place for the incumbent to remain in office or the law to remain on the books until another election can be organized.
The “None of the Above” (NOTA) option is not a new idea—there are many modern elections that currently include “None of the Above” on ballots as standard or typical procedure: Canada, India, Greece, Spain, Russia, Columbia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Bulgaria.
The USA currently lacks a disapproval or protest vote, which would allow an escape option for voters that find themselves in having to choose between a lesser of multiple evils type of race or situation.
Not having “None of the Above” (NOTA) option doesn’t allow voters to properly express their disapproval of policies or candidates and thus is keeping real democracy from being realized.
Perhaps even worse elected officials could wrongly feel they were given a mandate by the people, (because they won), as there were no “None of the Above” (NOTA) numbers or percentages results available for comparison.
Additional steps to take for reducing USA voter apathy/disengagement would be to make voting mandatory (such as in Australia) and/or at the very least making voting day a national holiday.
Reference: Pew Research Center
U.S. voter turnout trails most developed countries:
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 40 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website