None of These Candidates

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This article is about the option on Nevada ballots. For similar options elsewhere, see None of the above.

None of These Candidates is a voting option for Nevada voters for President of the United States and for state constitutional positions. This option is listed along with the names of individuals running for the position and is often described as "none of the above".

The option first appeared on the Nevada ballot in 1975.[1]

Even if the "None of These Candidates" option receives the most votes in an election, the actual candidate who receives the most votes still wins the election. This has most notably happened on two occasions: in the 1976 Republican primary for Nevada's At-large congressional district, None of These Candidates received 16,097 votes, while Walden Earhart won 9,831 votes, followed by Dart Anthony with 8,097 votes. Even though he received fewer votes than "None of These Candidates", Earhart received the Republican nomination.[1] He went on to lose to incumbent Democratic Congressman Jim Santini in the general election. In the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary, "None of These Candidates" won 30% of the popular vote, a plurality. Robert Goodman, the runner-up with 25% of the vote, is the Democratic nominee by state law.[2] According to a report by then-Secretary of State Dean Heller, "None of These Candidates" has finished first on three other occasions: in a 1978 Republican congressional primary, a 1978 Republican Secretary of State primary and a 1986 Democratic Treasurer primary.[3]

The None of These Candidates option has played a spoiler effect in close races, such as in the 1998 Senate Election, in which Democratic incumbent Harry Reid defeated Republican challenger John Ensign by only 428 votes, while None of These Candidates drew 8,125 votes.[4]

Court Challenge[edit]

In June 2012, anticipating a close race in Nevada during the 2012 presidential elections, the Republican National Committee challenged the constitutionality of the option. Fearing that the option would siphon votes from the Republican nominee, the RNC claimed that the option is not constitutional because if "None of these Candidates" received the most votes, it would not win the election.

The Nevada Attorney General, on behalf of the Secretary of State of Nevada, argued that the option is a protest vote intended to send a message and whose outcome is no different from not voting at all. On August 22, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones agreed with the plaintiffs and struck down the law allowing the option as unconstitutional. He refused to issue a stay pending the outcome of an appeal, meaning the ban on this option would be immediate.[5]

On September 4, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an emergency stay against the district court's order.[6] The emergency stay barred the implementation of Judge Jones's injunction until the Ninth Circuit can hear an appeal, allowing the "none of these candidates" option to remain on the ballot in the November 2012 elections. On July 10, 2013, the Court of Appeals threw out the lawsuit, preserving the "none of these candidates" option.[7]

U.S. Presidential Elections[edit]

  • 2012 – 5,770 votes (0.57%)
  • 2008 – 6,267 votes (0.65%)
  • 2004 – 3,668 votes (0.44%)
  • 2000 – 3,315 votes (0.54%)
  • 1996 – 5,608 votes (1.21%)
  • 1992 – 2,537 votes (0.50%)
  • 1988 – 6,934 votes (1.98%)
  • 1984 – 3,950 votes (1.38%)
  • 1980 – 4,193 votes (1.69%)
  • 1976 – 5,108 votes (2.53%)

U.S. Senate elections[edit]

  • 2012 – 45,277 votes (4.54%, almost four times the margin of victory, which was 11,576 votes)
  • 2010 – 16,197 votes (2.25%)
  • 2006 – 8,232 votes (1.41%)
  • 2004 – 12,968 votes (1.60%)
  • 2000 – 11,503 votes (1.92%)
  • 1998 – 8,125 votes (1.86%, almost 19 times the margin of victory, which was 428 votes)
  • 1994 – 12,626 votes (3.32%)
  • 1992 – 13,154 votes (2.65%)

Gubernatorial Elections[edit]

  • 2010 – 12,231 votes (1.71%)
  • 2006 – 20,699 votes (3.56%)
  • 2002 – 23,674 votes (4.70%)
  • 1998 – 12,641 votes (2.92%)
  • 1994 – 8,785 votes (2.31%)
  • 1990 – 9,017 votes (2.81%)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Silver, Nate (2010-08-27). "In Nevada, No One Is Someone to Watch - NYTimes.com". Fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  2. ^ Smith, Alexander. "Nevada Democrats Chose 'None of These Candidates' in Primary – NBC News." NBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 June 2014. <http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/nevada-democrats-chose-none-these-candidates-primary-n128166>.
  3. ^ Sean Whaley (June 11, 2014). "‘None of the above’ beats out all Demo governor candidates in Nevada". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ "None of These Candidates". Onlinenevada.org. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  5. ^ "Federal judge strikes down Nevada's "none of the above" voting option". Washington Post. Associated Press. August 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Emergency Stay Order, Townley v. Miller". United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. September 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ Chereb, Sandra (July 10, 2013). "'None Of The Above' Ballot Option In Nevada Upheld By Federal Appeals Court". Huffington Post. 

External links[edit]