Etc...

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OK, here's our answer: No

Remember David Gatchell? He's the candidate for both governor and a US Senate seat from Tennessee who was featured in this space July 26 because he'd sued for permission to be listed on the November ballot by his new, legally changed middle name(s): None of the Above. (His given middle name was Leroy.) Well, in its wisdom, the court has ruled in the case. And, as widely expected, it turned him down flat. The bid, it said last Friday, is against Tennessee law, and – what's more – the state has no constitutional obligation to allow any candidate's full name on the ballot. This, despite the fact that gubernatorial candidates Walt (Combat) Ward (D) and Carl (Two Feathers) Whitaker (R) were permitted to include their nicknames on this year's primary ballots. A deputy attorney general, representing the state election commission in the case, argued that allowing candidates to call themselves whatever they like was a "slippery slope." In fact, only in Nevada may an election ballot offer the choice of "none of the above," and even there it's nonbinding and is intended to serve simply as a gauge of public opinion. Gatchell, when last heard from, said he plans to appeal the decision.

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