None of the above

4

CAN voters have an option in the ballot to tick NONE if he/she finds no acceptable candidate in the line up?

If “NONE” gets a majority of votes, a new election should be called. This should apply across all positions.

I don’t know if it’s a good idea because it would mean bigger spending for special elections. But wouldn’t it serve as an incentive to encourage voters to go to polling precincts on Election Day to register their disgust over unacceptable choices?

So far, most of the relatives, friends and students I have talked with showed no enthusiasm to vote for lack of an acceptable candidate.


In the 2013 mid-term elections, voter turnout for the legislature was recorded at 60.7 percent. That means only 31. 6 million voters cast their ballots out of the 52 million who registered. Of the 62.4 million population of voting age, 10.4 million did not register.

A simple mathematics would show that 20.5 million Filipinos of voting age did not participate in the last senatorial and local elections.

In the 2010 elections when many voters showed enthusiasm in exercising their right to suffrage, voter turnout was a high 74.98 percent, with 38.2 million voters casting their ballots out of 50.9 million registered voters.

Eight candidates vied for the presidency in 2010, including Benigno Aquino 3rd, Joseph Estrada, Manuel Villar Jr., Gilbert Teodoro, Richard Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, Eddie Villanueva and JC delos Reyes.

In 2004, the turnout was higher at 84.10 percent, with 36.6 million voters casting their ballots out of 43. 5 million registered voters.

For the legislature though, the turnout was the lowest since 1967 — 30.4 percent, or only 13.3 million exercising their voting rights out of 43.5 million registered voters.

The presidential election then was a tight contest between Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. The other candidates were Panfilo Lacson, Raul Roco and Eddie Villanueva

Presidential elections in the Philippines draw more voters than the previous one.

But with the introduction of biometrics and voters’ apparent lack of interest to participate in the coming electoral exercise, we may again see a downslide in voter turnout.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) had said that 4.3 million registered voters may not be allowed to vote if they fail to validate their registration to capture their biometrics.

The Filipino electorate seem to have little appreciation and recognition of their right to vote. Non-voters give so many lame excuses for not even registering, or may have taken time to register but not cast their votes.

One reason is the inconvenience of going to the precinct and lining up to cast your ballot. Others would say they didn’t like any of the candidates, or know nothing about them. There are also those who think that voting would not benefit them, so why bother and be inconvenienced?

In some countries, voting is not just a right that you may choose not to exercise, but mandatory.

Under martial law in 1978, voting was made compulsory but still the turnout was only 85.52 percent, or 18.4 million showing up to cast their votes out of 21.5 million registered voters. Also, only 78.6 percent of the 23.4 million population of voting age were registered voters.

The numbers were high, but considering that voting was made an obligation, there was still a 15 percent gap.

Voter education is severely wanting in the Philippines. Filipinos of voting age should be made aware that registering to vote and casting votes is a right they ought to exercise if they want good government.

Refraining from voting insures a spurious government and encourages corruption.

It has been said that bad governments are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.

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4 Comments

  1. I think the best option would be to have ABSTRAIN and AGAINST on the ballot per nominee. That way if you don’t like a nominee he/she therefore can be effectively be banned from holding public office or employed by the goverment if the majority of vote AGAINST is present provided that the nominee had run for public office 3 times, in each instance the nominee will be barred from pacticipating in special/subsequent election/s. However, If you think that a nominee lacks experience and you feel indifferent towards him/her then a simple ABSTAIN vote would be enough. Furthermore, we should adopt a MAJORITY voting standard.

    Allow me to illustrate it.
    If we have to vote for 12 senators, 2 received the majority of vote FOR, while 6 received the majority of vote AGAINST(effectively banning them for the subsequent special election/s), and the remaining 4 received the majority of ABSTRAIN vote (they would be allowed to run for the next subsequent election, but I woudn’t have my hopes up).
    Therefore, our next subsequent ellection would be for 10 senators.

    Lets say, a nominee runs for Mayor, in 3 different elections, in which he/she received the majority of vote AGAINST in each instance. Therefore, he/she would be banned from participating on any election, holding public office and/or be employed by the government.

    When I say subsequent election, lets say, 2010 Presidential election -> 2010 special Presidential election(subsequent election). Any election resulting in the outcome of the incomplete initial election.

  2. Amnata Pundit on

    Its a good idea but useless pa rin because the Smartmatic cheating machines can count them as votes for the yellow candidate. Also your figures for the turnout for 2010, since they are based on Smartmatic figures, are still spurious at best An outright boycott is still the best option. Will you bet your money in a casino if you know the tables there are rigged? Only the insane or the stupid will do that.

  3. NONE OF THE ABOVE

    Our people focus only on current politicians and what our Media/Religion (normally PAID) presents as leader or candidate for vital positions in government.

    http://collectivelyconscious.net/articles/worlds-poorest-president-explains-why-we-should-kick-rich-people-out-of-politics/

    In voter’s eye/opinion – if NONE in the current list of possible Candidates (Binay, Poe, Mar, Duterte, BBM, Lacson, Miriam) are:

    1. not clean (TRAPO-dirty/corrupt)
    2. can’t be trusted
    3. none seems to be sincere
    4. lack experience/competent
    4. young enough or still in good health
    5. has no family interest or hidden agenda.

    Is it not logical for Comelec to include as an option on voter’s ballots any of the following in 2016 election:

    “None of the Above” (NOTA); or “For a New Election” or
    “For Charter Change or Constitutional Reform”

    This is mainly to prevent boycott or Voters Apathy (lack of caring) and encourage active participation of all voters in election process and to actually show disapproval officially/legally in Ballots.

    Normally, when voter do not like any (or the only) candidate for the office, they either:

    a. choose not vote or not register to VOTE (boycott/apathy)

    b. vote for the least objectionable candidate, the so-called “lesser evil”.

    If Comelec disagree with including NOTA option on voter’s ballot, then “NOBODY” or NOTA (as a legal Alias) can be represented by a substitute or symbolical candidate from :

    1. Independent or a non-partisan candidate or non-politicians (not infected by system) – a common tao sincere enough to LEAD (no personal agenda or political ambition),

    2. He/she is not spoiled by family/society/religion – from humble roots meaning He/she can relate/experience first hand all of our problems.

    All other qualities that our present politicians and leaders lacks – a “NOBODY” who can LEAD us “Toward a Better & Safer Future”.

    Who knows? maybe majority of our people will vote “None Of The Above” NOTA rather than, “the lesser of evils”. Maybe a Dark Horse candidate willing to officially & legally represent the votes of ALL who disapprove or dissatisfied with current list Politician.

    http://www.offthegridnews.com/current-events/state-sued-to-remove-none-of-the-above-as-ballot-option/

    http://www.nota.org

    http://www.nobodyforpresident.org/index2016.html

    http://www.nobodyforpresident.org/

  4. jesus nazario on

    NOTA or “None of the Above” should indeed be one of the candidates listed on the ballot for each and every elective position to be voted for. This is more DEMOCRATIC than the “forced choice” method of our elections. Of course one can abstain voting on specific positions, but this still falls short of the NOTA provision in providing more democratic elections.

    Another possible improvement is allowing voters to vote several candidates for each position but not exceeding those officially listed as candidates (called Approval Voting). Votes for all voted candidates will be counted just the same and the candidate who garners the highest votes still wins. This eliminates the bad effects of vote splitting in our election which historically employs what is called Plurality Voting. For elections having at least 3 candidates for one contested position, vote splitting can cause the election of candidates which are not really the sincere choices of the voters. If voters are allowed to vote for those official candidates they like most and those they also like, then sincere voting is encouraged. Sincere voting means voting for the candidate you sincerely like but is not necessarily the one forecasted to win by the surveys. Many voters just vote blindly for the “llamado” candidates even if they do not necessarily like them sincerely.