Americans Need Another Choice On the Ballot: “None of the Above”

As the 2014 mid-term elections mercifully come to a close on November 4th, Americans have been subjected to campaigning by incumbents and challengers for an intolerable amount of time. We’ve been bombarded by destructive partisan messages or attack ads that paint each candidate as inept and untrustworthy. Large sums of money have poured in from big donors to finance these campaigns and ensure that Congress will be the best that money can buy. Despite a Primary process, we are for the most part stuck with the candidates that each party backs as its nominees to run for office. What the leaders of the Republican and Democratic Party’s don’t seem to understand is that if just half of what these negative attack ads say are true, then at some point, Americans will come to the conclusion that none of the candidates deserve their votes. Dissatisfied with their choices many Americans will simply not vote or if they do vote, they will vote for the candidates who are perceived as the lesser of two evils. What a sad commentary on our Republic!
We need to change the ballot to allow Americans the option to select “None of the Above” and thereby say to the Republicans and Democrats that we are not satisfied with any of the candidates on the ballot. And while there are occasional third party candidates, most of the votes that go to these individuals are protest votes against both the Republican and Democratic candidates. If we are committed to electing quality candidates and improving the leadership in the Congress and White House, then we will figure out the mechanics of how to provide for a second round of voting if “None of the Above” wins the most votes. One option is to adopt the British procedure of limiting political campaigning to one month. This would provide ample time to schedule a second round of voting. Bottom-line: as Americans, we need the power to say “None of the Above” to political parties.
Paul Okum has 40 years’ experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Army, and Defense in leadership positions, including being a US Army officer and a director of a human resources office in the Department of Defense. Okum has written “Leadership DNA,” a guide book about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders. The book also explains how to deal with poor performing leaders before they cripple an organization.
For more information about Paul Okum and “Leadership DNA,” visit

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3 Responses to Americans Need Another Choice On the Ballot: “None of the Above”

  1. Election time always brings out my thoughts about the condition of our country, how we got to this condition, and will we ever get back what we lost. It seems not. Corruption is blatant today.

    Our governor is up this year. I think the Republican Tom Corbett has done a descent job. The Democrat running is more of the same: tax, spend, and support of the immmoral social issues. Polls point to the Dem winning, but we will see. I do not have confidence in the very uninformed voters.

    Here’s one of my recent posts.


    It’s beyond doubt that many political ads are purposefully misleading, which really is lying. Is a distortion a lie? Yes. Making something look like what it is not is a lie.

    THE QUESTION IS: Are we informed enough to know what the distortion is? Often, we are not. We can’t be informed on everything, but we need to be more informed than we are on some issues. Otherwise, we are trusting that the candidate is telling truth. Not always the case, and often the media does not know the facts either. They just repeat the distortion that was said by the candidate and they do not check to see if the statements are true.

    Sometimes, as in this race for governor in PA, I have knowledge of facts that prove ads and statements to be distortions. It’s so blatant. The candidate puts up a number on the screen and then makes an untrue statement about the number. The candidate is either uninformed on the issue or telling a lie. They should not be uninformed on issues they are speaking about. If they are, then that could be negligence.

    There are 2 sad points I want to make here:

    1. Corruption is obvious today. They no longer hide what they do. They say what they want to say, whether it’s true or not. The purpose is to say something that voters will like for them to get elected.

    2. Many voters are uninformed, and simply believe whatever they hear and see. And it seems, they are not receptive to hearing the truth.

    It’s sad, very sad, Because if we elect the wrong people, then we are in serious trouble. And we have elected the wrong people on many occasions, and thus we are in serious trouble . . . . big time trouble . . .

    WHY AM I EXPRESSING THIS? Because it is a seriously sad situation that affects us all adversely. Many people cannot see the truth. Some can. If this keeps up, and I suspect it will, we’d better learn to cling to God more than we ever have before. If you think it’s rough now, what are we going to do if it gets worse? There may be coming a day when more of us will be praying “gives us this day our daily bread”, because we won’t see that daily bread the day before we get it or even the morning of that day. We won’t see how it is going to be there for us to be provided for. We will not be able to create it, but we will need God to answer that prayer with just enough to get by, “our daily bread”.

    Are we prepared? Are we praying, “give us this day, our daily bread”. Are we praying, “God, show me who is telling truth. Show me who to vote for. Show me the deception in a political ad. I don’t know everything, guide my hand in the voting booth. Thy will be done.”

    Can I get an Amen?

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