With thousands of voters skipping over races on last month’s primary election ballot, some political watchers are privately musing whether it’s time to just put a “none of the above” option on Florida ballots. In fact, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho says election officials have long kicked around the idea of whether to add a bubble for “no selection made.” “I wouldn’t call it ‘none of the above,’ though,” said Sancho, who was a key figure in the state’s 2000 presidential recount. “It’s too negative.” With “no selection made,” voters could signal they chose not to weigh in on a particular race rather than leaving to later interpretation whether they accidentally missed a race. That’s also seen as less contentious than a “none of the above” pick, which is viewed as a protest vote.
The support for such an option is mixed. Political scientists have known that some voters simply pass voting on “down-ballot” races, such as for judgeships and school board seats, when they don’t know the candidates and don’t care about the outcome.
And some elections officials say a “none” option is superfluous because the right to choose includes the right not to choose.