On May 29, 2009, The New York Times published the obituary of L. D. “None of the Above” Knox, 80, a farmer and politician from Winnsboro, Louisiana who had crusaded for over forty years to make “None of the Above” an option on the Pelican State’s ballots.
In 1979, he went so far as to make “None of the Above” his additional middle name and used it thereafter whenever he ran for office. The Times states:
His aim—allowing voters to call for a new election with new candidates by voting for “none of the above”—remained his main plank in subsequent elections.
“The people of this country have never had a free election,” he said in 1991. “We don’t have a right to reject candidates. We have to take the lesser of the evils.”
From his notices in papers across Louisiana, Mr. Knox seems to have been well-liked and respected, although most of his electoral defeats were one-sided blowouts.
Yet, as I argued in 2004, the “None of the Above” option has increasing appeal when many elections are effectively uncontested—as in the case of the upcoming New York City mayoralty, where billionaire incumbent Michael Bloomberg’s unlimited funds effectively push his opponents completely out of the public eye.
June 7, 2009 No Comments