I did my duty and voted this afternoon. With two exceptions, I did not feel good about any of the candidates I voted for. Put simply, I did not like my choices. I was talking to someone about this yesterday, and we came up with an idea (for all I know, someone else has already put forth this idea) that might result in a better quality of public servants.
For each candidate, we should be able to vote Yes or No. Any candidate receiving more No than Yes votes is automatically disqualified. For each of the remaining candidates, should there be any, subtract the total number of No votes from the total number of Yes votes. Whoever ends up with the most number of Yes votes wins. If no candidate has more Yes than No votes, then we go find some new candidates.
In addition, there should be a clear job description for each position. The job description should be posted online and in the newspapers, accessible to everyone. The candidates would apply for the jobs in more-or-less the same way everyone else applies for a job--post resumes and references on their websites and in their mailings, and answer interview questions on television.
I think this would be a much more professional, responsible and civilized approach to elections. Any candidate trying to run a smear campaign against their opponants would be penalized.