Rod Driver

Article from the Warwick Beacon, March 10, 1993

NOTA bill gets cold shoulder

A bill to give voters the option of voting for "none of the above" got a cool reception in a committee of the R.I. House of Representatives.

At a hearing of the House Finance Committee, Rep. Rodney Driver, the bill's sponsor, argued that voters should have the option of expressing their dissatisfaction with the choice of candidates for any office.

Driver introduced the NOTA bill in the 1991 session of the General Assembly. It died in committee when the Board of Canvassers questioned the potential cost of follow-up election which would be required if "none of the above" prevailed in any race. So, for 1992, Driver rewrote the bill to require that NOTA option appear on the ballot and that the votes for that choice be counted and reported, as is done in Nevada. But the outcome of the election would not be affected by the NOTA vote.

The new version of Driver's bill appeared to have no support on the committee. One member said that any citizen who is not satisfied with the ballot choices should become a candidate. Another suggested that legislators run unopposed because their constituents think they are doing a good job.

"I get the feeling that some of us are afraid that we might be beaten by `nobody' if `nobody' was given a spot on the ballot," Driver said.