CONCORD, N.H. — A bill that would add the option of choosing “none of the above” on New Hampshire ballots seems like a quintessential proposal for the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state that prides itself on having discerning voters.

But even the measure’s sponsors say it’s probably doomed, with one acknowledging that it would be humiliating for a candidate to be defeated by no one rather than an actual opponent.

Sponsor Charles Weed, D-Keene, says voters should have the chance to express their dissatisfaction with all the candidates for a given office.

“Real choice means people have to be able to withhold their consent,” Weed said. “You can’t do that with silly write-ins. Mickey Mouse is not as good as ‘none of the above.”’

Rep. Douglas Ley, D-Jaffrey, said he thinks New Hampshire, with its motto of Live Free or Die, would be more receptive to the “none of the above” option.

“It simply because we sort of take pride in trying to reflect voter interests and preferences as much as we can,” Ley said.

Secretary of State Bill Gardner predicts the reason it won’t pass has more to do with logistics and the fact there is no “above” on the state’s ballots.

The problem, Gardner said, is the state lists names on the ballot horizontally, from left to right.

“It would be one heck of an experiment to have to start educating voters that, when “none of the above” appears, it would not be the “above” but the candidates to the right or left,” Gardner said.

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