Nothing new in the concept of throwing irresponsible incumbents out of office. Failed before, why would VOID's attempt work today? Below are the mechanics of how and why VOID can reshape American politics.
First, there is already an anti-incumbent mood among eligible voters, and this accounts for why a huge number of the 55% of eligible voters who DO NOT VOTE, don't in non-presidential year elections. Voter participation has been dropping for decades with a few blip exceptions. At least half of the American public has lost faith in voting for Democrats and Republicans, incumbents or challengers, because things in government just don't get better. In fact, in many ways, our government just continues to worsen. 9/11 never should have happened. Our educational system never should have dropped from being the best in the world. Our poverty rate never should have increased since the 1970's, but, it has. And our national debt should never have reached 8 Trillion dollars threatening the taxed wages of our children's work lives.
So, the first reason VOID can work today, is because half the eligible voters in this country, if given renewed hope that showing up at the polls will make a difference, would completely revolutionize American electoral politics. If even 20% of them who didn't vote before, showed up to vote against irresponsible incumbents, it would throw a chill and fear into incumbents as has not been seen in modern political history. The statistician's models would be rendered useless, incumbents strategies for reelection would prove erroneous, and the fear of the voters would be struck in the hearts and minds of incumbent politicians who remained in office.
A second reason VOID can work, is because of the math of voting. A vote by a person who used to lean toward Democrats or Republicans, who shows up and votes for the challenger regardless of party, is not only an anti-incumbent vote, but, a cancelling vote: - a vote which cancels an incumbent supporter. So, anti-incumbent voting means incumbents have to generate two additional votes for every anti-incumbent vote. This means if 10% of voters who didn't vote before, vote against politicians seeking reelection, is the same as 10% of the incumbent's voters not showing up at the polls at all to vote for them. Small numbers of anti-incumbent votes by previously non-voters can render statisticians predictability models useless, and upset otherwise predictable incumbent wins.
Third, there is a teeter totter effect. Imagine a teeter totter with a N.Y. Democrat Incumbent Senator on the right side of the teeter totter. Now envision in 2006, a Republican challenger on the left side of the teeter totter. Democrats outnumber Republicans in that state, (let's say), by 50,000 votes. The pollsters predict an easy victory for the Democratic incumbent.
But, let's say, 25,000 Democrat voters don't show up to vote because they are busy and everyone knows the Democrat will win anyway. Then, let's say 12,500 previously non-voting Democrat leaning VOID voters show up and vote, FOR THE REPUBLICAN. Add to that 13,000 previously non-voting Republican leaning voters who show up to vote because VOID voting makes sense and gives their challenger a real chance. Election is held, and the Republican challenger wins by 500 votes in a race statisticians and pundits said couldn't be lost by the incumbent. Why did the teeter totter reverse its position? VOID voters, that's why. Suddenly, politicians begin to pay attention to VOID voters and ask what they want for their vote. VOID voters reply back, problems solved, that's what we want for our vote. Do it or lose it.
Finally, Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy can have another effect. It can prepare more voters to vote for the candidates who will solve problems and ignore political parties. This will be a very good thing. Partisan wars in Congress are a huge waste of the American people's time and tax dollars. When voters start voting results instead of rhetoric, political parties will be weakened some, and that, in today's climate, has to be a benefit for American government. The more voters vote for problems solved and ignore empty party promises and platitudes, the more responsive our government will become to all voters regardless of political party affiliation.
(Following is related to Beltway Traffic Jam, for continuing the discussion).