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The `None of the Above' Option

The Opinion page article "Vote `No and `Yes' to Democracy," June 12, on voter dissatisfaction and the possibility of adding "None of the Above" (NOTA) to United States election ballots, mentions that variants of this choice have been used in Eastern Europe. It is also used in Nevada, where it is nonbinding, and regularly in nongovernment elections, where it often is binding.

The Libertarian Party includes NOTA on ballots for party elections and its platform has long called for NOTA's inclusion on US federal, state, and local election ballots. In the party context, in any election in which NOTA wins, that office goes unfilled and unfunded until the next scheduled election.

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Beyond serving as a vent for "throw-all-the-bums-out" steam, NOTA also provides a mechanism for voters to indicate their belief that an office itself - not just the politician who holds it or wants it - is unnecessary and should be eliminated.

Unfortunately, incumbent legislators know the dangers NOTA poses for their comfortable existence. It will take a strong grass-roots effort to get career politicians to approve laws that allow voters authentic choices in every election. Richard Sincere Jr., Arlington, Va., Chairman, Libertarian Party of Virginia

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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