A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 12, 2011
NOTA (None Of The Above)

"NOTA” (None Of The Above) is often a favorite political candidate. The term “NOTA” has been cited in print since at least 1972 and the state of Nevada did add “none of the above” to the ballot in 1975, although only an actual person could be elected.

Under some proposed “NOTA” ballot systems, if “NOTA” wins, then a new election is held with new candidates.


Wikipedia: None of the above
None of the Above (NOTA) or against all is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. It is based on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting no on ballot questions.

Entities that include “None of the Above” on ballots as standard procedure include Greece (λευκό, white, but unrelated to a political party of the similarly sounding name-however it is symbolic only), the U.S. state of Nevada (None of These Candidates), Ukraine (Проти всіх), Spain (voto en blanco), Colombia (voto en blanco), the United States Libertarian Party and Green Party and the Florida affiliate of the American Patriot Party. Russia had such an option on its ballots (Против всех) until it was abolished in 2006. Bangladesh introduced this option (না ভোট) in 2008.

When None of the Above is listed on a ballot, there is the possibility of NOTA receiving a majority or plurality of the vote, and so “winning” the election. In such a case, a variety of formal procedures may be invoked, including having the office remain vacant, having the office filled by appointment, re-opening nominations or holding another election (in a body operating under parliamentary procedure).

In Nevada, the candidate with the greatest number of votes assumes office regardless of votes for None of the Above. None of the Above acts as a repository for protest votes.

Urban Dictionary
NOTA
abbreviation for “none of the above”. usually used by people to describe themselves as someone who does not fit into a perfect stereotype… in other words: an indie
“are you a nerd, goth, emo, jock?”
“no, i’m NOTA”

by 495 May 27, 2006

14 January 1972, Dallas (TX) Morning News, Guest Editorial (Letter to the Chicago Tribune). pg. D2:
NONE OF THE ABOVE
I should like to see on the primary ballot a choice, N.O.T.A., standing for “None of the Above.” I feel that the presence of N.O.T.A. allows the voter to state that the political parties have demonstrated less than wisdom in their selection of candidates.

19 June 1973, Pasadena (CA) Star-News, “More or Less Personal” by Ray McConnell, pg. B1, col. 1:
NONE OF THE ABOVE: This is something new in campus politics, and it may well permeate the local and national scene. Stan Coutant of Sierra Madre calls to my attention a development which got more or less buried in the welter of graduation news. At PCC they had an Associated Student Body election in which Robin Forester, election commissioner, decided to give students an alternative to the announced and the write-in candidates. He put on the ballots, after the names, a category where students could vote for “None of the Above.”

“None of the Above” won a major student office and made strong showings in three other races. “None of the Above” became Associated Men’s Student president by a two-to-one margin over Dennis Miller. NOTA beat Andre Latreille by a 108-78 vote, and lost to Betty Lou Curtis, the only announced candidate for AWS president, by only 29 votes.

23 December 1975, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “Voting-booth gimmickry,” pg. A10, col. 1:
At first glance, Nevada’s new law permitting voters to vote for “none of the above” rather than for a candidate in an election contest is both amusing and intriguing. The Wall Street Journal says it “offers possibilities for a more accurate reading of how voters really feel.” But we find outselves wondering what Nevada hopes to achieve by this gimmick.

What, for instance, will a heavy vote for NOTA signify? That the voter is dissatisfied with the choices he has been offered? Or merely that he has been unwilling or unable to find out anything about any of the candidates?

Google News Archive
19 September 1979, Bonham (TX) Daily Favorite, pg. 10, col. 5:
Nota Intends
To Sue State

WINNSBORO, La. (UPI)—None of the Above, a candidate for governor of Louisiana, intends to sue to force the secretary of state to put his newly changed name on the Oct. 7 primary election ballot.

None of the Above is now the legal name of Luther Devine Knox, a minor candidate in the nine-person race, who said he now may be called “Nota” for short.
(...)
Guste (State Attorney General William Guste Jr.—ed.) quickly ruled that None of the Above could not replace Luther Devine “LD” Knox on the ballot because the new name is deceptive.

Google News Archive
5 June 1980, Toledo (OH) Blade, “Anderson Claims Primary Voters Dissatisfied With Carter, Reagan,” pg. 3, col. 2:
Mr. Anderson said the primaries produced new jargon for him in the 1980 race—LOTE for “the lesser of two evils” and NOTA for “none of the above.”

Google News Archive
11 August 1981, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, “New voting day ahead” by Clayton Fritchey. pt. 1, pg. 9, col. 6:
Nevertheless, if citizens not voting are assumed to have preferred NOTA (none of the above), that category would have won every presidential contest.

Only one president, Lyndon Johnson, ever came close to beating NOTA.

Google Books
Prisoners of the American Dream:
Politics and economy in the history of the US working class

By Mike Davis
London: Verso
1986
Pg. 3:
Finally, with the nodding assent of most of the crowd, a rather definitive voice spelled out the name of the popular choice in the campaign: N-O-T-A ( ‘none of the above’ ).

Google Books
The Politics of Plunder:
Misgovernment in Washington

By Doug Bandow
New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers
1990
Pg. 63:
The solution is what Vermont activist John McClaughry has termed the “turkey ballot” — placing “none of the above” (NOTA) alongside the names of the candidates. Then the American people could say “thanks but no thanks” to all the contenders.

Google Books
April 1996, Mother Jones magazine, pg. 57, col. 2:
“NONE OF THE ABOVE” In Nevada, the only state where voters have a “none- of-the- above” ballot choice, NOTA has won four races in 20 years. But under current law , the candidate with the most votes after NOTA still wins. A better option, says Ruskin, would be binding: Whenever NOTA won, the losers would be tossed out and the campaign would have to start over with new candidates.—Leslie Weiss

Google Books
Lost in Washington:
Finding the way back to democracy in America

By Barry M. Casper
Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts
2000
Pg. 330:
Under a NOTA plan, the voter could choose “None-of-the-Above” instead of a candidate in any general election. In the cleanest version of NOTA, a vacancy for that office would be declared if NOTA won, and a special election would be called, with the previous candidates—often including the incumbent—prohibited from running in the second election. So far, NOTA bills have been introduced in four state legislatures, but only one, in Colorado in 1993, would pertain to congressional candidate. It seems very likely that neither state legislatures nor Congress would respond positively.

Google Books
How to Overthrow the Government
By Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington
New York, NY: ReganBooks
2000
Pg. ?:
At the national level, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) sponsored legislation in 1997 to place a “None of the Above” line on the ballots of all federal elections. If NOTA received more votes than any of the candidates, a new election would have to be held. The bill died for lack of support.

Google Books
Hatchet Jobs and Hardball:
The Oxford dictionary of American political slang

By Grant Barrett
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2004
Pg. 185:
NOTA n. [none of the above] a ballot choice which rejects all candidates.
1980 New York Times (June 6) A17:
We’ve already had Nota—“none of the above”—in the primary season.
Pg. 186:
1992 Journal of Commerce (June 3) 8A:
Time will tell whether Ross Perot, the candidate of the NOTA Party (None Of The Above), can make a difference.

Google Books
An Average Guy’s Opinion
By Frank J. Smith
Lulu.com
2006
Pg. 259:
We can require that “None of the Above” be a voting option in all elections. It’s not an original idea. Nevada, marching to its own tune as always, has had “none of the above” (NOTA) on the ballot since the 70’s. But it’s a really weak option in that state. The way they have it set up, you can vote or NOTA, but you don’t accomplish anything. The PERSON who receives the most votes still wins.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Monday, December 12, 2011 • Permalink