If a Minnesota state senator gets his wish, a faceless and nameless force would give political candidates extra reason to sweat at election time. They’d have to compete against “None of the Above,” with the threat of a new election featuring all-new candidates if that option prevails. GOP Sen. Branden Petersen’s proposal is certainly a longshot, even by his own admission. But he’s hoping the bill he introduced last week at least stirs some serious talk and gives frustrated voters an idea to rally around. “This would give people an opportunity to really make a strong statement in rebuke of the present dynamic. It would be an honest check on the two-party system,” said the first-term senator from Andover who at times has clashed openly with his own party. “This gives people a chance to legitimately voice their opinion.” The proposal so far has been met with eye rolls and good-natured pokes.
Fellow Republican Tim Sanders, the House Government Operations and Election Policy chairman, shrugged it off as the “Brewster’s Millions” bill — a reference to the 1980s Richard Pryor comedy where the main character drops millions on a successful “None of the Above” protest campaign in the New York City mayor’s race.
“That’s not something that grabs my interest. I’m certainly willing to hear him out,” Sanders said.
But Sanders is worried it would be too complex and feed an unachievable hunger for the perfect candidate.