None of the Above

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Text on Button NONE OF THE ABOVE © 1980
Image Description

White background with red text on the upper left side, red copyright and date on the upper right side. Smiley face near the bottom, blue eyes looking to the left with blue eyebrows and 2 strands of blue hair, along with a small blue nose and a red smile.

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NOTA is an acronym for “None of the Above” it is also known as the “scratch” or “against all” vote or “protest vote.” This option is allowed in some jurisdictions to show a voter's disapproval of all candidates on the ballot. This can be for any vote for any organization if given the option. NOTA has been an option for all elections in India since 2009.

The classic yellow smiley face is comprised of a yellow circle, two black dots for eyes, and a black arc ending in serifs for a mouth. It was designed in 1963 by commercial artist, Harvey Ross Ball. Ball was commissioned by The State Mutual Life Insurance Company to create a happy face to raise the morale of their employees. His version was created in 10 minutes. The design was printed onto more than 50 million buttons. Neither Ball nor the company copyrighted this smiley, so it was continually used by other businesses in their promotions.
The design and concept is quite simple and was definitely used before Ball’s 1963 version. However, his has become the most iconic. Variations have been used for advertising campaigns and in popular culture ever since.


About Harvey Ball. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2020, from…

NOTA (abbreviation) American English definition and synonyms: Macmillan Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2020, from

Catalog ID SM0060