In Nevada, You Can Vote for None of the Candidates

Anna Green
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In 1975, Nevada made a strange addition to its voting ballots: Underneath the names of all the politicians running for office, voters were given the opportunity to officially cast a vote for no one.

Atlas Obscura reports that the “none of these candidates” option, which still appears on ballots to this day, was created in an attempt to encourage people to vote. Officials believed that by giving voters a way to voice their dissent on the ballot itself, they could inspire more people to show up at their polling station. Unfortunately, the initiative didn’t work as planned: Despite the opportunity to officially stick it to unlikable candidates, voter turnout has continued to decline.

The “none of these candidates” option, however, has been a consistently popular candidate. Not only does it appear on every ballot, but it has even “won” a few elections. In 2014, for instance, “none of these candidates” beat out all eight of the Democratic governor candidates in Nevada, winning a full 30 percent of the vote. Not bad for a candidate who doesn’t exist.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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