CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill that would add the option of choosing “none of the above” on New Hampshire ballots seems like a quintessential proposal for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state that prides itself on having discerning voters.
But even the measure’s sponsors say it’s probably doomed, with one acknowledging that it would be humiliating for a candidate to be defeated by no one rather than an actual opponent.
Sponsor Charles Weed, D-Keene, says voters should have the chance to express their dissatisfaction with all the candidates for a given office.
“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.'”
Nevada is the only state where voters can cast their ballots for “none of the above.” The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to hear an appeal by Republicans seeking to remove the option from the ballot.
Two years ago in Nevada, Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller defeated his Democratic challenger, Shelley Berkley, by about 12,000 votes. More than 45,000 votes were cast for “none of the above.”
In 2000, California voters soundly defeated a proposition to add the option to ballots there.
Rep. Douglas Ley, D-Jaffrey, said he thinks New Hampshire, with its motto of Live Free or Die, would be more receptive to the “none of the above” option. (Continued…)
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