OWS Protest Vote – Working Document

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OWS 2012 Protest Vote

None of the Above or NotA — (formerly, “Mic Check”**) — For President

Withdraw Our Consent to be governed by the 1%: OWS exists because we recognize it is not currently possible for ordinary citizens to have their voices heard through traditional electoral politics. This  Proposed Action seeks to formalize this recognition by encouraging members to withdraw consent to be governed by the illegitimate political system of the 1% and the legacy Democratic and Republican parties beholden to and working for the 1%. The supporters of this Action recognize that there are no candidates capable of uniting us in the presidential election. Thus, we will withdraw our consent by refusing to continue voting for Wall Street’s candidates and instead vote in a way to obviously voice our discontent.

CALL TO ACTION: Therefore we are opting to cast a symbolic Protest Vote en masse (as a write-in**); a vote that will be unified, well tabulated and largely interpreted as a vote of No Confidence.

**Options suggested include Mic Check, MC, Occupy, None of the Above, NotA, No Confidence, and others..

Why Should We Cast A Protest Vote: By actively and cooperatively rejecting 2-party system candidates, this protest vote will quantify our shared discontent and demonstrate our strong disapproval of the current system. Our protest vote is not the same as not voting [but, you just said it was in the last paragraph???] and cannot be equated with apathy or general disillusionment [?????]. This act of civil disobedience will give us an immediate goal; to work together and efficiently leverage the media frenzy surrounding the presidential election; and, to do so without becoming divided by any single ideology or candidate.

[I thought we were creating “Mic Check” as a parallel vote. In other words, I will go the polls and cast my vote (perhaps writing Mic Check in) and then take another ballot to my General Assembly and vote for Mic Check. Please clarify. Unless this is clear, this document is confusing.]

[To replace the above paragraph] Our protest vote represents a new kind of voting – outside of corrupt establishment procedures, such as the confusing Electoral College, the lack of one-person-one-vote representation, closing voting locations early, forcing people to vote on a working day in any kind of inclement weather – a vote that symbolizes OWS. It is a vote in which every voice is heard equally and every voice has the opportunity to be heard. Our votes will be collected and counted by our trusted form of government, our General Assemblies.]

Discussion: (ancillary thoughts)

This vote recognizes that this system succeeds in presenting the illusion of choice and garnering the illusion of consent by preying on our fears of a “greater evil” [?????????]

We recognize that we this protest vote will be more successful if we all join together in casting the same symbolic protest vote.  We will select a recommended wording in the next few weeks through a democratic process. [Oh, OK – a symbolic protest vote is not the same as civil disobedience.]

By enjoining en masse to this end, this protest vote offers us a chance to demonstrate our ability to unite as 99%’ers with the intent to restore [that’s not really the goal of a symbolic vote : (   ]an equitable distribution of political power. It is not a solution but rather an immediately actionable tactic that can build our solidarity and weaken the power and legitimacy of the 1%.


Even if you do not are not willing to join us in this symbolic protest vote, please reject all Wall Street candidates, including all Democratic and Republican candidates.  In this case we strongly encourage you to by voting for 3rd-party and independent candidates. [Not sure if this is even necessary. I just see Mic Check as something everyone can do without impacting their normal decision-making process about the political candidates who are running. Mic Check gives us the opportunity, if we do it right, to continuously point out how the candidates are connected to Wall Street, but I don’t think we should go so far as to tell people not to vote.]

One Response to “OWS Protest Vote – Working Document”

  1. Urbaned


    1. Who is the audience? We need at least two: one for a GA proposal about running the Mic Check campaign, and two, a description for voters about what Mic Check is.

    2. Do we want to tell people to not vote, or who to vote for, or do we want to say this is a symbolic experience in which you can express your displeasure with the current process and candidates?

    3. How will we actually count the Mic Check votes? How can we make this go viral? Maybe people will even watch us instead of MSM??

    4. What is the list of other groups that need to be involved (design, media, education?)