A Real “None of the Above”

What would the Nevada Senate race look like if "none of the above" could actually win?

The only problem with Nevada’s “none of the above” option is that it really doesn’t count.  That is:  even if “none of the above” gets the most votes, the candidate with the most votes wins the office, even if the candidate gets less votes than “none of the above.”

One wonders if there was a binding “none of the above” (i.e., one that would force a new election with new candidates) if a plurality (if not a majority) of Nevada voters might vote for such this year.

There are places where this is the case.  For example, if a majority of voters in a Colombian eleciton vote for en blanco (i.e., literally “blank”—there is a box on the ballot for such—see here and here for more info) then a new election with new candidates is called.  This has happened, if memory serves, at least once in a local election.

As it stands, voters in Nevada have to decide whether they are willing to let their vote for “none of the above” help the candidate they like the least.

The likelihood is that “none of the above” would rarely (if ever) win, but if there was ever an election where the majority of the voters probably would like to hit “reset” the Nevada Senate race would have to be it.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Steve Plunk says:

    Let’s see the final vote counts before making that proclamation.

  2. My point is that since the NOTA can’t win this effects the strategic choices that voters make.

    It may yet matter in the election, but not in the way I am suggesting above.