The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 October 2004

We don't want any

For reasons having to do with the difficulty of getting alternative candidates on the ballot in this state, there is a small but vocal coalition urging Oklahoma voters to leave blank the section for Presidential electors as a protest.

Does this constitute refusing to take a stand? I don't think so.

Then again:

The newspaper [The Detroit News] today decided to vote "none of the above" in the presidential election. After I read the introduction to their editorial I didn't bother to read the rest closely, because it doesn't matter. It's bloviating. It's refusing responsibility. It's just... well, I'm nearly speechless, and I suspect you know already how much I like to talk.

The truth is, either Bush or Kerry will be president for four years. That fact doesn't change just because you may find neither candidate particularly compelling. There are genuine differences in how the two men would lead the country, differences that matter. We as voters have to make a very hard decision this year. Quite frankly, I don't agree with all of Bush's policies myself. But I have the courage and commitment to this country and my fellow citizens to make a decision, not pout and stay home.

Question: Does the Oklahoma "None of the Above" movement constitute pouting and staying home? Is declining to vote on this one race "thoroughly and reprehensibly pathetic"?

After all, Michigan voters have seven choices on their Presidential ballots, and:

At least have the courage and conviction to make a choice and stand up for your choice. It may not be Bush or Kerry, and if not, more power to you. Just make sure you vote.

[Emphasis in the original.]

Gentle Readers, what say you?

Posted at 8:00 AM to Political Science Fiction

Well, you can probably guess my opinion.

The fact is that those of us behind the NOTA4Oklahoma campaign want people to go vote, and just not mark either Bush or Kerry for president. Vote for everything else(or just the state questions or whatever you see fit), but leave the presidential race unmarked. As the song by Rush puts it, "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice." If you actively decide that, then I think it's an honorable and well considered move.

Posted by: Chris at 5:42 PM on 25 October 2004

I am one of the ones who will not vote for either person for president. I watched the debates and concluded that: neither candidate was so awful to warrant voting against him: neither candidate was impressive enough to vote for. PS my voter card says Libertarian, and has for a number of years. As for all of the mud in the senatorial race, I am very tempted to vote for the kook with the radio transmitter implanted in her head by the FBI, at least she comes by her insanity honestly


Posted by: Robert at 7:05 PM on 25 October 2004

>Gentle Readers, what say you?

No fair! I wanted to comment too.

Posted by: MEH at 10:22 PM on 25 October 2004

As a suppressed candidate for Congress in Oklahoma's 5th District under Oklahoma's present ballot laws, I support abstention and I will not vote for either presidential surrogate candidate of the Establishment Party. I will vote on the SQs.

We, in Oklahoma, are abstaing from voting on this particular office. The U.S. government's representative to the U.N. often abstains from voting. It would appear the Establishment accepts that as a legitimate choice for them.

I do not encourage voters in other states - the 49 plus D.C. - which do have other choices to abstain, but I support their right to do so. I just think Oklahoman voters and candidates are also U.S. citizens like the people in rest of the country.

Basicly, I view NOTA, or abstaining, as analogous to draft resistance. Young men are compelled to register for a draft we are told will NOT be used. We voters are compelled to choose between two candidates when the choice will make no difference on fundamental policies. It's chilli with red beans vs. chili with pinto beans. Give me a break!

Posted by: Frank at 1:19 PM on 26 October 2004

Just wanted to say that voting NOTA (leaving the Presidential ballot line blank) is the only legitimate choice in my mind this year for lots of Oklahomans. For myself as pacifist I see no other choice, because voting for Bush or Kerry would be giving my approval to the death and carnage that the military is inflicting in Iraq.

Lots of other folks are voting NOTA as well for issues of their own... those who oppose the war on drugs, those who oppose gun control, those who oppose global-corporate-governance by means of NAFTA/WTO/FTAA, etc.

For anyone who is interested in this go to:

Also for anyone who wants to take this protest to the next level join us on the streets on election day. We currently have 4 protests scheduled all across Oklahoma. Details are at

Posted by: J. M. Branum at 12:41 PM on 27 October 2004

If Oklahoma had seven choices for president on the ballot, I would most likely be able to vote for the candidate of my choice. Since it doesn't, there is no candidate on the presidential ballot that represents my views.
Given that, voting for None of the Above makes perfect sense.
Furthermore, even Democrats and Republicans should be ashamed and upset by the lack of ballot choices, even if they want to vote for Bush or Kerry. The State of Oklahoma is deciding for the voters who they will be allowed to vote for, instead of letting the voters choose for themselves.
The result this year is that almost one-third of the state races are *uncontested*. This is democracy? This shows the freedom and the power of the vote? In a pig's eye!

Posted by: Michael at 3:35 PM on 29 October 2004