Here and here are some brief pieces on a bill in New Hampshire to provide the option of “none of the above” (or NOTA)  on ballots.  As the sponsor (Charles Weed) explains:

“Real choice means people have to be able to withhold their consent,” Weed said. “You can’t do that with silly write-ins. Mickey Mouse is not as good as ‘none of the above.’”

If  NOTA wins, there would have to be a special election. I am assuming that this could go through multiple iterations. What would happen if NOTA continued to beat flesh-and-blood candidates? A return to the state of nature? A new social contract?

Whenever possible, I vote third party. I view it as simultaneously 1. meeting my self-induced obligation to vote, and 2. withholding my consent from the binary. Occasionally, I can actually support  a candidate who genuinely deserves my vote. The NOTA option would allow me (and many others) to send a much clearer message. It might also increase voter turnout.

5 thoughts on “NOTA

  1. Except in exceptional circumstances where there’s some legitimate reason to favor a particular candidate, I write in “None of the above” for almost every race.

    So, that’s already an option. It won’t force a special election, but it does exist on a moral level.

  2. So what’s the point? Aside from giving commentators as talking point, it serves absolutely no function. How is a NOTA vote any different than not voting at all, except to prove that it wasn’t a matter of not being able to get to the polls as your reason for not voting for any of the candidates?

    1. Big difference, in my opinion. It seems that a failure to vote is interpreted as tacit consent given that (1) only a minority of adult citizens vote in most elections and yet (2) a winner is declared and assumes the powers of the office. A vote of NOTA could not be interpreted as tacit consent.

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