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William John Cox – “Evil” Presidential Candidates: Write-in Voting and Political Protest

With the increasingly likelihood of a presidential contest between the generally despised Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, millions of angry voters are considering protesting the lineup by either sitting out the election or writing in alternatives. With almost one-third of all eligible voters already failing to participate in elections, a greater abdication of voting responsibility in an election between the lesser of two evils could lead to a tyranny of the minority. On the other hand, by carefully writing in the names of their true choices, voters can exercise the only power available to them. If sufficiently widespread, such a protest could have a lasting effect on the course of the Nation, including the abandonment of the two major political parties and the emergence of new—more relevant—alignments.

The beauty of a massive write-in protest vote is its bipartisan appeal. There may be as many “Never Trump” Republicans unwilling to hold their noses and vote for Donald Trump, as there are progressive Democrats who are proclaiming “Bernie or Bust” in their opposition to Hillary Clinton. Even those voting for Libertarian and Green Party presidential candidates, in states where they are not qualified, might consider doing so by writing in their choices. The only problem is that—with the control of voting left up to the states by the Constitution and with tabulation taking place on the local and county level—most write-in votes would not be counted.

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