the "None of the Above Election Reform Act."
In October 1998, FOEPAC received the results of a telephone survey conducted by a political research company, indicating that about 50-60 percent of California’s voters supported the idea of a "None of the Above" ballot measure. FOEPAC pursued this ballot option by using the initiative process in California. A ballot measure was drafted that would allow a "None of the Above" option in all statewide and federal elections. The measure was submitted to the California Attorney General in order to qualify for the March 2000 ballot.
In January 1999, signature gathering began. By May of that year, over 650,000 signatures were submitted. On July 15, 1999, the measure was certified by the California Secretary of State, which officially qualified it for the March 2000 ballot. Over 60,000 new voters were registered in the process.
During the time prior to the March 2000 election, FOEPAC enthusiastically campaigned for Proposition 23, the "None of the Above Election Reform Act." Chris Shugart took the reigns of campaign promotion, and media relations.
Predictably, both Democrats and Republicans opposed the measure. Neither party had any desire whatsoever to upset their comfortable status quo. Somewhat of a surprise was that Ralph Nader’s Green Party also opposed the measure. The Green Party had unsuccessfully attempted to get a “none of the above” measure of their own on the California ballot for years. The Libertarian Party of California was the only political organization that officially endorsed the proposition.
Although the measure was eventually defeated, Friends of Ernest continued to function as a non profit organization. As Executive Director, Chris Shugart continued to promote membership, and publish the Friends of Ernest newsletter, The Ernest Voice.