Nevada Voters Can Keep Choosing ‘None of These’

     (CN) – A group of potential voters and presidential electors cannot “cobble together” standing to challenge Nevada’s unique “None of These Candidates” ballot option, the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday.
     Nevada is the only state to have “None of These Candidates” (NOTC) as an option on its ballots. It made the move in 1976 as a way to allow voters to express dissatisfaction with the field.
     Potential and actual voters from various political parties, along with Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury and the state’s Republican Party Secretary James DeGraffenreid, sued Nevada and its secretary of state in June 2012. The 11 plaintiffs argued that the 37-year-old option should be removed from the upcoming presidential ballot. Since votes for it don’t count, voters who choose the option are “disenfranchised,” they claimed.
     U.S. District Judge Robert Clive Jones granted the plaintiff a preliminary injunction from Reno, but a speedy stay from the 9th Circuit ensured that the option remained on the 2012 ballot.
     In a unanimous ruling published Wednesday, a three-judge appellate panel doomed the challenge altogether, finding that none of the plaintiffs had standing to sue in the first place. The panel did not consider the worth of the plaintiffs’ arguments, which they called “questionable.”
     “The proposition that [potential voter] plaintiffs have standing because they may, at some point, depending on which candidates decide to run in a future election, choose to cast a ballot for NOTC and therefore be denied a right that they assert exists epitomizes speculative injury,” Judge Raymond Fisher wrote for the panel.
     “Plaintiffs do not articulate a way in which any category of plaintiffs fulfills all three standing requirements,” Fisher added. “Instead, plaintiffs attempt to cobble together the three standing prongs from different groups – injury from the NOTC voter plaintiffs and competitive standing plaintiffs, traceability from the NOTC voter plaintiffs and redressability from the competitive standing plaintiffs. Manufacturing standing in this way is impermissible.”

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