Government

How About An Election Where You Can Vote for “None of the Above”?

In the 2007 Australian federal election, Geoff Richardson changed his full name to “Of The Above None,” running for the seat of Gilmore. His name thus appeared on the ballot as “NONE, Of the Above.” His strategy did not win him the election, but it draws attention to the fact that sometimes voters are less than thrilled with their available options.

Sometimes voters get so fed up with the limited options for candidates that they turn to surprising alternatives. There was, for example, the time a foot powder got elected to the city council. Other times, the lack of acceptable options sparks some peculiar alternative candidates, such as Vermin Supreme or the Monster Raving Looney Party. Other times, there just aren’t any acceptable choices, and voters just want to be able to say, “No one is acceptable.” Some jurisdictions have permitted this very thing.

  • Greece and India include “None of the Above” on ballots as standard procedure. Bulgaria introduced this option in 2016; in the first round of Presidential voting, “None of the Above” garnered 5.59% of the vote and took 4.47% in the run-off.
  • Indonesia election law permits voters to choose “None of the Above” if there is only one candidate for an office.
  • The U.S. state of Nevada gives the option of “None of These Candidates.”
  • Ukraine permits voters to vote “against all.” Russia had this option on its ballots until 2006 when it was removed.
  • Belarus, Spain, North Korea, and Colombia call this option “White Vote.”
  • Bangladesh permits a “No Vote.” Pakistan introduced this option in 2013, but it was invalidated by the nation’s Election Commission.

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