Nevada’s Illusion of Choice

Nevada’s known for its Libertarian leanings. “Stay off my property!” “Don’t charge me taxes!” “Parents can educate their own kids!” Suffice to say, Nevadans are highly suspicious of their government and those who claim to represent the voice of the people.

When it comes time for elections, Nevada’s voters are the only ones who can choose, “none of the above candidates” at the ballot box. Unfortunately, all votes cast for “none of the above candidates” are disregarded by ballot counters. According to the Las Vegas Weekly, columnist Rick Lax wrote,

“Walden Earhart won the 1976 Republican primary for Nevada’s at-large congressional district with 9,831 votes. Opponent Dart Anthony only received 8,097, but the popular ‘none of these candidates,’ received a whopping 16,097 votes … which were thrown out, giving Earhart the win.”

What?! Why give people the option to vote for “none of the above candidates” if they’re going to be thrown out, regardless? It makes no sense. A special election should be held and new candidates should be able to run, while those that lost should not be able to run during this special election. Nevadan’s votes should be counted.

Unfortunately, thanks to a new lawsuit, some people want to take away choice and force voters to vote for “the lesser of two evils” although they certainly aren’t phrasing it that way. According to Matt Hufman of the Las Vegas Sun,

“The lawsuit wants to force people to choose between candidates, arguing that without ‘none’ on the ballot in the races for president and senator, voters will ‘cast their votes for one of the candidates running for those offices, including Gov. (Mitt) Romney and Sen. (Dean) Heller.’ As an example, the lawsuit cites a Republican who says he plans to vote for ‘none,’ adding that if he doesn’t have that option, he’ll pick Romney.”

Nevada needs choices. This lawsuit should be shot down and “none of the above candidates” votes should count in elections.

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