Supreme Court Okays “None of the Above” on Nevada Ballots

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
(graphic: Mahesh Kumar Yadav, Wikipedia)

Nevadans are going to keep their option of voting without choosing any candidate running for office, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided to not get involved in the matter.


Prior to the 2012 election, Republicans tried to eliminate the choice of “None of these candidates,” which has been printed on Nevada ballots since 1975. The unusual option of choosing nobody in a race came about after the Watergate scandal to give voters a way of showing their dissatisfaction with politicians.


But the GOP saw the “none” option as a threat to presidential challenger Mitt Romney’s chances of winning Nevada, which was considered a swing state that could go either way in the election.


Republicans figured voters unhappy with Obama, but not entirely sold on Romney, would be more likely to support the GOP’s candidate if the “none” option was removed.


So the party filed a lawsuit before the election to get the ballot changed. They lost their case in district court, prompting them to petition the Supreme Court to hear their challenge. But the high court rejected the appeal.


As it turned out, removing “none” from the ballot before the election would not have helped Romney enough to put Nevada in his column.


Obama won the Silver State by about seven points. “None of these candidates” accounted for less than 1% (0.57%) of the vote, which would not have been sufficient for Romney to prevail.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

How ‘None of These Candidates’ Won in Nevada (by Sean Sullivan, Washington Post)

Supreme Court: 'None of the Above' OK on Nevada Ballot (Kendall Breitman, USA Today)

Bush-Appointed Judge Slammed for Trying to Eliminate Nevada’s “None of the Above” Ballot Choice (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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