None of These Candidates is a voting option for Nevada voters for President of the United States and for state constitutional positions. This option is listed along with the names of individuals running for the position and is often described as "none of the above".
The option first appeared on the Nevada ballot in 1975.
Even if the "None of These Candidates" option receives the most votes in an election, the actual candidate who receives the most votes still wins the election. This has most notably happened on two occasions: in the 1976 Republican primary for Nevada's At-large congressional district, None of These Candidates received 16,097 votes, while Walden Earhart won 9,831 votes, followed by Dart Anthony with 8,097 votes. Even though he received fewer votes than "None of These Candidates", Earhart received the Republican nomination. He went on to lose to incumbent Democratic Congressman Jim Santini in the general election. In the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary, "None of These Candidates" won 30% of the popular vote, a plurality. Robert Goodman, the runner-up with 25% of the vote, was the Democratic nominee by state law.
According to a report by then-Secretary of State Dean Heller, "None of These Candidates" has finished first on three other occasions: in a 1978 Republican congressional primary, a 1978 Republican Secretary of State primary and a 1986 Democratic Treasurer primary.
The None of These Candidates option has possibly played a spoiler effect in close races, such as in the 1998 Senate Election, in which Democratic incumbent Harry Reid defeated Republican challenger John Ensign by only 428 votes, while None of These Candidates drew 8,125 votes.
In June 2012, anticipating a close race in Nevada during the 2012 presidential elections, the Republican National Committee challenged the constitutionality of the option. Fearing that the option would siphon votes from the Republican nominee, the RNC claimed that the option is not constitutional because if "None of these Candidates" received the most votes, it would not win the election.
The Nevada Attorney General, on behalf of the Secretary of State of Nevada, argued that the option is a protest vote intended to send a message and whose outcome is no different from not voting at all. On August 22, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones agreed with the plaintiffs and struck down the law allowing the option as unconstitutional. He refused to issue a stay pending the outcome of an appeal, meaning the ban on this option would be immediate.
On September 4, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an emergency stay against the district court's order. The emergency stay barred the implementation of Judge Jones's injunction until the Ninth Circuit could hear an appeal, allowing the "none of these candidates" option to remain on the ballot in the November 2012 elections. On July 10, 2013, the Court of Appeals threw out the lawsuit, preserving the "none of these candidates" option. One member of that panel, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, criticized Jones' handling of the case: "His dilatory tactics appear to serve no purpose other than to seek to prevent the state from taking an appeal of his decision before it prints the ballots.... Such arrogance and assumption of power by one individual is not acceptable in our judicial system."