Skip to comments.(NV) Judge strikes down ‘none of these candidates’ as an option
Posted on 08/23/2012 2:57:32 AM PDT by markomalley
Nevadas none of the above voting option was struck down Wednesday by a federal judge, who ruled the states decades-old ballot alternative was unconstitutional because votes for none dont 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 Nevadas unique voter option, which has appeared on every election ballot for statewide races since 1976, disenfranchises voters because its a perpetual loser. Under state law, even if none receives the most votes, it doesnt 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.
Youre free to stay home on the couch, he said, arguing that such non-votes dont 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 ...
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.
Under state law, even if "none" receives the most votes, it doesnt win.
Kind of makes it pointless, doesn't it? If "none" receives the most votes, the office should remain vacant for the entire term.
Very wise ruling on a very stupid and emotional rule.
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.
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.
He undermined the very reason for republican government.
But upheld the Constitution against mob rule.
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. ;-)
Which clause of the federal or NV Constitutions does the law violate?
BTW, if you think the legislative process is “mob rule,” you are in the wrong country.
Law school: when the hard sciences are just too damn confusing.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.