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(NV) Judge strikes down ‘none of these candidates’ as an option
The Washington Times ^ | 8/22/2012

Posted on 08/23/2012 2:57:32 AM PDT by markomalley

Nevada’s “none of the above” voting option was struck down Wednesday by a federal judge, who ruled the state’s decades-old ballot alternative was unconstitutional because votes for “none” don’t count in the final tallies that determine winners.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert C. Jones came at the end of a lively hearing where the judge challenged both sides in the legal arguments with hypothetical questions and ramifications of possible rulings he was considering.

In the end, he struck the option down altogether for both federal and statewide races, and refused to grant a stay while his decision is appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Secretary of State Ross Miller said his office would pursue “an immediate and expedited appeal to protect the long-standing public interest of the ‘none of these candidates’ option.”

A federal lawsuit filed in June and bankrolled by the Republican National Committee argued Nevada’s unique voter option, which has appeared on every election ballot for statewide races since 1976, disenfranchises voters because it’s a perpetual loser. Under state law, even if “none” receives the most votes, it doesn’t win. Victory is reserved for people, though “none” before has played a role in determining the winner in some high-profile races.

Deputy Attorney General Kevin Benson, representing the secretary of state, argued voters “always have the right to not vote” for listed candidates, and that voting for “none” is essentially no different than skipping a particular race on a ballot altogether or not voting at all.

“You’re free to stay home on the couch,” he said, arguing that such non-votes don’t count either.

He likened “none” to a protest vote, a way for voters to communicate with politicians that they are unhappy with their choices.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Politics/Elections; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/23/2012 2:57:37 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley
He likened “none” to a protest vote, a way for voters to communicate with politicians that they are unhappy with their choices.

If this were the case, then the "protest vote" would be sending the message directly to a class of individuals that can't do anything about it. The "protest vote" message needs to impressed on the "stay at home on the couch" class to get informed, get more involved, and run for office.

2 posted on 08/23/2012 3:11:46 AM PDT by C210N ("ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate" (Breitbart, 2012))
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To: C210N
I like the symbolic value of the "None of the Above" vote, but this little item makes me wonder if Nevada didn't take it too far:

Under state law, even if "none" receives the most votes, it doesn’t win.

Kind of makes it pointless, doesn't it? If "none" receives the most votes, the office should remain vacant for the entire term.

3 posted on 08/23/2012 3:14:19 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: markomalley

Very wise ruling on a very stupid and emotional rule.


4 posted on 08/23/2012 3:17:23 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: Alberta's Child

Agreed... if anything, it furthers an uninformed electorate: “Look ma, I voted! (but don’t know the issues and didn’t vote for any real person)”.

OTOH, since this applies to most ‘rat voters, more republicans would win.


5 posted on 08/23/2012 3:38:04 AM PDT by C210N ("ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate" (Breitbart, 2012))
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To: markomalley

My thought: the negative vote.

For example, McCain-Barama. I didn’t like McCain, but there was no way I’d vote for for Barama. What to do? Cast a negative vote which would have been against Barama, and his total would have been cut by my vote. If no candidate can win by a positive vote, there would have to be another vote with different candidates.


6 posted on 08/23/2012 3:49:04 AM PDT by Ex-Democrat Dean
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To: mazda77
The judge substituted his feelings for law made by the people through their reps.

He undermined the very reason for republican government.

7 posted on 08/23/2012 4:17:08 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Exterminate rats.)
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To: Jacquerie

But upheld the Constitution against mob rule.


8 posted on 08/23/2012 4:23:24 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: markomalley

In the Bush Gore Florida recount debacle if there was no vote for Prez the recounters were looking “down-ballot” and divining that if they went for democrats then they meant to vote for Gore.

This selection makes it clear that NO vote for that office was intentional. I’d keep the option. ;-)


9 posted on 08/23/2012 4:25:01 AM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: mazda77

Which clause of the federal or NV Constitutions does the law violate?


10 posted on 08/23/2012 4:29:23 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Exterminate rats.)
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To: mazda77

BTW, if you think the legislative process is “mob rule,” you are in the wrong country.


11 posted on 08/23/2012 4:31:24 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Exterminate rats.)
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To: markomalley

Law school: when the hard sciences are just too damn confusing.


12 posted on 08/23/2012 4:33:19 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Jacquerie
"A federal lawsuit filed in June and bankrolled by the Republican National Committee argued Nevada’s unique voter option, which has appeared on every election ballot for statewide races since 1976, disenfranchises voters because it’s a perpetual loser. Under state law, even if “none” receives the most votes, it doesn’t win. Victory is reserved for people, though “none” before has played a role in determining the winner in some high-profile races.

Every other candidate has to file with the state election authorities to gain a spot on the ballot. What makes "None of the above" so special they don't need to file the required petitions to be there as well? If the rules were balanced for all on the ballot then they would be required to have a separate ballot initiative every time just to make "None of the above" eligible by the same rules as every candidate must.

13 posted on 08/23/2012 4:37:38 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: Jacquerie
I'm not sure I agree with the judge's rationale, but the basis of his ruling was that people who cast a vote for "None of the Above" are effectively disenfranchised under the Nevada statute because their "candidate" can never win the election.

That was the basis of my previous post. Under the Nevada statute, there should have been some kind of clear and meaningful result of the election in the even "None of the Above" came out the winner. Perhaps a run-off should be held (involving any candidate other than those who had already appeared on the ballot and lost to "None of the Above"), the office should remain vacant, the governor or legislature should appoint the winner, etc.

14 posted on 08/23/2012 4:37:55 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: SpaceBar

Additionally, if I were to legally change my name to None of the Above, would that not automatically gain me a spot on the ballot without having to file the necessary petitions and filing fees?


15 posted on 08/23/2012 4:39:13 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: mazda77
Additionally, if I were to legally change my name to None of the Above, would that not automatically gain me a spot on the ballot without having to file the necessary petitions and filing fees?

No. If your name was the same as a candidate and the candidate died after the ballots were already printed, you wouldn't automatically get elected in his place because your name was the same.
16 posted on 08/23/2012 4:43:35 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Tunehead54
Dumb question for anyone here who is familiar with Nevada's election law:

What would happen to Nevada's electoral votes in a presidential election if "None of the Above" was actually determined to be the "winner" of the election?

17 posted on 08/23/2012 4:44:05 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Alberta's Child

Precisely, a no vote is simply not choosing one or the other and leaving the question with no choice. Somebody has to win in order for those who did vote for an actual representative not to have their vote disenfranchised by having no representation at all.

If someone wants to make a point, do the simple math and make a news story about it and hold your representatives and political parties to task. None of the Above is the lazy way out. Get off the couch and go to town council and party meetings if you want your voice heard.

Goes back to an old saying of; Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way for someone who will.


18 posted on 08/23/2012 4:53:21 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: mazda77

I don’t mind the underlying principle of the Nevada law, but in a formal election process “None of the Above” should be meaningful rather than symbolic. In my opinion, the best scenario would be for an office to remain vacant for the duration of the term in question if “None of the Above” gets the most votes in the election.


19 posted on 08/23/2012 4:59:13 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: markomalley
There have been times when I didn't want to vote for any candidate for a particular office, although I was voting for all of the other offices on the ballot.

I always worry that if I leave a "blank" office on the ballot, it will be filled in by someone after the fact (i.e. election fraud). Having a "None of the above" option would discourage that.

20 posted on 08/23/2012 5:10:04 AM PDT by Johnny B.
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To: mazda77; Alberta's Child
The points you make are for legislators to decide.

I am amazed at how many of my fellow freepers condone rule by blackrobes, a gross violation of separation of powers and antithetical to the basis of our republic. Rats are fixated on results. They don't care if we end up in the dictatorship we are headed for, as long as they get social justice. Conservatives should focus on process and Constitutionality. What a single damn judge feels is bad law does not justify rewriting the law.

21 posted on 08/23/2012 5:17:39 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Exterminate rats.)
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To: markomalley

EVERYBODY knows what the ‘none’ vote means.

IMPEACH this jerk judge. NOW!


22 posted on 08/23/2012 5:18:59 AM PDT by Flintlock (-THE TRUTH--It's the NEW hate speech.)
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To: Jacquerie

You are making the assumption that it was legislators who enacted this law and it is those who must dispense of it. The fact is that I don’t know but I will find out as I have family living there. I would counter to assume it was a ballot initiative and if so the voters did so without considering the ramifications of the points I submitted and asserted to mob rule.

I will find out the genesis of this law and get back to all on this thread later today. Watch your pings.


23 posted on 08/23/2012 5:27:41 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: Flintlock

I like Newt’s idea. Disestablish entire lower courts and start over. For instance, the commie Ninth Circus could be disestablished by Congress and the judges sent home. No messy impeachments necessary.

Not to say impeachment is a bad idea; the scalps of few liberal judges hanging off our belts every year would quickly convince the remaining judges to make their future decisions based on the constitution.


24 posted on 08/23/2012 5:31:01 AM PDT by Jacquerie (Exterminate rats.)
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To: mazda77; All

It was a ballot initiative created by disgruntled voters in 1976 over the Watergate scandal. In 1998 Harry Ried won over John Ensign by over 400 votes. There were over 8000 votes cast for none of the Above in that race. How many of those 8000 were swayed by the liberal media at the time?

Although John Ensign owned his own Vet clinic, he was tied to his father’s stature as the big bad casino people as he was the CEO of Mandalay bay at the time. My sister was his father’s chosen waitress at the coffee shop at the time.


25 posted on 08/23/2012 5:48:33 AM PDT by mazda77 ("Defeating the Totalitarian Lie" By: Hilmar von Campe. Everybody should read it.)
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To: Tunehead54
In the Bush Gore Florida recount debacle if there was no vote for Prez the recounters were looking “down-ballot” and divining that if they went for democrats then they meant to vote for Gore.

Exactly!

A NOTA vote prevents recount vote fraud.

Personally, I think that if NOTA wins, there should be a new election with the current candidates being ineligible to run.

26 posted on 08/23/2012 7:29:04 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Alberta's Child

Instead of voting for someone a voter is lukewarm about it would be great if they could vote against someone they despise, a negative vote instead of positive. The negatives would subtract from a candidate’s vote totals. Instead of voting for a lessor evil, which voters have to do frequently, a voter could vote against evil. This would also help with the stupid vote, the voters that can’t follow simple instructions. Half of them would vote opposite their stupid intentions.


27 posted on 08/23/2012 4:48:19 PM PDT by Reeses (An optimist believes the Republicans nominated their best. A pessimist knows they did.)
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To: Jacquerie
The points you make are for legislators to decide.

That's exactly my point, and that's why a judge was involved in the case.

As I said before ... I don't disagree with the general intent of the Nevada law, but based on what I read of this case it sounds like the "legislature" (or in the case of a ballot initiative, whoever crafted the language of the initiative) may not have considered some of these issues. The Nevada law would eventually have ended up in a courtroom anyway, if "None of the Above" ended up "winning" an election.

Keep in mind that the language of the law effectively precludes anyone in Nevada from having any legal grounds to dispute the judge's decision on the basis of their own self-interest. Since "None of the Above" never had a chance to "win" an election anyway, then a legal decision that prevents someone from voting for that "candidate" is a matter of no consequence whatsoever.

28 posted on 08/24/2012 3:23:35 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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