How to Properly Spoil Your Vote

What if I don’t like any candidate?

You might be one of the many people that doesn’t like the main parties, and none of the other candidates standing in your area represent your views either. There are several things you can do.

1. Stand for election yourself (or help someone else to run)
2. Vote Tactically
3. Spoil your vote by writing on the ballot paper

Spoil Your Vote Properly

When it comes down to it and you realise that you really cannot commit to any candidate. Don’t be disheartened.

Do go to the polling station. Deliberately spoil your vote.

Be Deliberate

There is received wisdom that most ballot papers are spoiled accidentally. Personally I’ve spoiled a number of ballot papers and none of them has been accidental. So if you decide to spoil your vote by writing on the ballot paper make sure it looks deliberate, that you have consciously chosen not to vote for any of the candidates.

Democratic transparency requires records to be kept of spoiled votes, so if you get a chance ahead of time ask your constituency returning officer to report the number of spoiled ballots when they announce the results. If you don’t find this information in the published results do use a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to make the data public.

None of the Above

One of the most effective ways that you can spoil a ballot paper that clearly indicates your intent not to vote for any of the named candidates is to draw your own additional box on it and write the words “None of the above” next to it. You can then follow the instructions and place a clear X in the box next to your preferred choice. None of the above conveniently shortens to NOTA if space is limited. I’ve successfully done this in a number of elections (although these days I tend to vote tactically).

There’s also a proper campaign to make ‘None of the Above’ part of the democratic process. If you think that this is a good idea then here are some links to show support

Use your democratic freedom to vote

If you live in the UK then make sure you are registered to vote (you have until a few weeks before the election), and then use that power on election day in the way that you think is of most value to you, your community and the country.

If you like this advice please share it. If you have any other creative ways of being deliberate about your refusal to vote for candidates that you don’t like then leave a comment.