The following is information about where NOTA is on the Ballot. It is important to the advocacy of Voter Consent laws that particular attention be paid to experience with NOTA on the ballot, so that information may inform and amend what we advance.
Contact NOTA on the ballot to suggest an item for inclusion in the "Where NOTA is on the Ballot" section.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
NOTA by Wikipedia
None of the Above (NOTA) is a ballot choice in some jurisdictions or organizations, placed so as to allow the voter to indicate his disapproval with all of the candidates in any voting system.
Entities that include "None of the Above" on ballots as standard procedure include the United States Libertarian Party, the Green Party, Nevada ("None of these candidates"), Ukraine ("Against all"), and Spain (votos en blanco). Russia had such an option on its ballots ("Against all") until it was abolished in 2006.
When "None of the Above" is listed on a ballot, there is the theoretical possibility of NOTA receiving a majority of the vote cast. In such a case, a variety of formal procedures may be invoked, including having the office remain vacant, having the office filled by appointment, re-opening nominations or beginning the election process again (in a body operating under parliamentary procedure). In Nevada, the actual candidate with the greatest number of votes assumes office regardless of how many votes "None of the Above" gets. Thus "None of the Above" acts purely as a repository for protest votes.
The Green Party of California included NOTA in its original 1991 bylaws, to offer voters a choice of rejecting all candidates presented. After one round of successful elections in which a candidate in Southern California and all gubernatorial candidates were retired after the primary by NOTA, a lawsuit promulgated by the California Secretary of State led to the disallowal of NOTA in Green Party primaries.
Ralph Nader ran as a NOTA candidate and supports the NOTA option as a method of voters to withhold consent and to initiate a new round of elections.
In elections where "None of the Above" is not an option, a ballot is usually regarded as spoilt if a voter decides to cross the entire ballot paper, or leave it blank.
Binding NOTA and Abstention:
A binding Voter Consent Ballot Option, based on Beloit College's student congress elections, allows voters to vote for a candidate, to abstain, or to reject all candidates for an office and call for a new election, with new candidates, to fill the office. Sample ballot:(Competitive Race) ~or~ (Noncompetitive Race)[ ] Candidate A [ ] Candidate A [ ] Candidate B [ ] No Preference (Abstention) [ ] No Preference (Abstention) [ ] None of the Above (New Election) [ ] None of the Above (New Election)
Results in the following Voter Consent Ballot Options:
Voter Option 1: A voter may vote for a candidate.
Voter Option 2: Instead of voting for a candidate, a voter may vote for the line "No Preference (Abstention)", indicating the voter is not voting for any candidate. This option eliminates a so called "undervote," where the number of votes is less than the number of voters, which can raise questions about the vote count and be an occasion for mischief.
Voter Option 3: Instead of voting for a candidate, a voter may vote for the line "None of the Above (New Election)", indicating the voter selects none of the above candidates and is calling for a by-election with new candidates to fill the office. If "None of the Above; For a New Election" receives more votes than any candidate, then no one is elected to that office and a follow-up by-election with new candidates must be held to fill the office.
Comment: By having both "No Preference (Abstention)" and "None of the Above (New Election)," the Beloit College model gives voters a complete range of voter consent options. The "No Preference (Abstention)" allows the voter to record an abstention from voting for a particular office. A binding "None of the Above (New Election)" empowers voters to withhold their consent to an election to office so that even candidates running unopposed must obtain voter consent to be elected. Because a binding NOTA can result in the calling of by-elections with new candidates to fill an office, it is far more complex than an non-binding NOTA, involving greater cost and delays in the filling of an office. However, those costs and delays occur only if voters vote to hold a new election, and are likely to be less than the costs of electing unacceptable candidates to office. In addition, we expect political parties to improve the quality of their candidates in response to having a binding NOTA on the ballot without any cost to the voters. In the Massachusetts Model, the by-election occurs not less than 60 days and not more than 80 days after the prior election. See: Reasons Voter Consent Laws are a Good Idea
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