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Friday, September 03, 2010

Voting for 'None of the Above'

In Nevada, No One Is Someone to Watch - "Since 1975, Nevadans have had the choice of voting for “None of These Candidates,” which appears as a ballot line along with the named candidates. The option has waxed and waned in popularity. But in 1976, None of These Candidates actually won the plurality of votes in the Republican primary for a United States House seat. (The nomination was awarded to the second-place finisher, Walden Earhart.) And in other cases, the ballot option has played a spoiler role: the 1.2 percent of voters who selected None of These Candidates in the 1996 presidential race was larger than the margin separating Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. And in the 1998 Senate race, the 8,125 votes for None of These Candidates easily outdistanced the 395-vote margin between Harry Reid and John Ensign, allowing Mr. Reid to be re-elected."
Fascinating look at the impact of a "none of the above" option on the ballot. In short, there's somewhat of an incentive to go negative, because it can draw away your opponent's leaners.

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