None of the Abovernby Greg KazarnIam running against myself in the November 5 general election.rnFor the second time in my brief legislative tenure, I amrnproviding constituents with “None of the Above” (NOTA) adhesivernballot stickers. Michigan election law docs not provide arnNOTA option, but it does allow write-in campaigns using stickers.rnSo I have produced NOTA stickers, and made them availablernin the state House district that I represent in suburban Detroit.rnI believe every legislator should offer this choice tornvoters.rnDon’t get me wrong: I still intend on voting for myself nextrnmonth. I am confident that I can beat NOTA. But I also realizernthat there are many constituents who do not like me or myrnDemocratic opponent. Far better that they participate in therndemocratic process by casting a ballot for NOTA than by stayingrnhome on election day and not voting at all.rnI also acknowledge that I am motivated by self-interest: oppositionrnto a political class that is largelv smug, insular, andrnopenly hostile to democratic reform. My colleagues in thernMichigan legislature arc, for the most part, confused or angryrnabout my NOTA campaign. They adhere to a “pre-term limitsrnparadigm” that severely limits the parameters of debate. Inrn1992, most of them opposed term limits with a special ehemencernwhile the people of Michigan approved the measure 59rnto 41 percent. Four years later, most legislators still oppose termrnlimits, some bittedy. Unfortunately for them, the issue is nornlonger “Should we impose term limits?” The people have answeredrnthat issue at the ballot box. Rather, the question todayrnis, “I low do we go beyond term limits?”rnPolitical elites in both major parties oppose NOTA as a reform.rnIn dismissing NOT^ as disruptive, thev ignore electionsrnlike the 1991 Louisiana gubernatorial race between RepublicanrnDavid Duke and the ethically challenged Democrat Edwin Edwards.rnObservers dubbed the race “the wizard versus thernlizard.” In a Mason-Dixon poll taken prior to the vote, 66 per-rnGreg Kaza is a Michigan state representative (Republican-rnRochester Hills).rncent of Louisiana voters supported a NOTA option. In a hypotheticalrnelection against Duke and Edwards, the poll found thatrnNOTA received 30 percent of the vote.rnA NOTA option, then, would give voters more choice by givingrnthem the power to vote against incumbents undeserving ofrnsupport. But there are other reasons for NOTA. These includerngiving voters the option to vote against candidates who resort tornnegative campaigning, and leveling the playing field betweenrnincumbents and challengers. A large NOTA vote would increasernthe chances that a serious challenger could be recruitedrnto run against an incumbent the next time around. More importantly,rnNOTA is a reform measure that passes constitutionalrnmuster. Unlike federal term limits, found unconstitutional bvrnthe Supreme Court, NOTA miposes no additional qualificationsrnon congressional membership. “While term limits creaternan absolute barrier to the candidacy of certain incumbentsrnbased on the length of their prior service,” Blair T. O’Connorrnwrites in the Valparaiso Vniversity Law Review, “a NOTA ballotrnoption creates no such substantive qualifications on candidacy.rnNOTA merely adds to the options on the ballot. It does not removerncertain ballot options based on unconstitutional qualifications.”rnNOTA does not interfere with the right of citizens tornvote freely for the candidate of their choice. Nor does it infringernon the right of individuals to associate with a candidate’srnpolitical beliefs. “Incumbent candidates are free to advance thernpolitical goals of their party,” O’Connor notes, “provided thatrnthev win reelection by defeating their challengers, includingrnNOTA.”rnThere are two ways in which NOTA can be implemented:rnbinding and nonbinding. A binding NOTA would provide thatrnif NOT^ won a plurality of the vote m an election, the officernwould be declared vacant and a new election would be held tornfill the office. A nonbinding NOTA provides that the candidaternwho receives the most votes would win and take office, even ifrnNOTA receives a plurality of votes. Thus, a nonbinding NOTArnis largely s’mbolie in nature, allowing voters to express dissatisfactionrnwith the candidates seeking office, negative campaign-rn18/CHRONICLESrnrnrn