In an election with a single winner, many people are instructed to vote for one. When a voter votes for more than one candidate, intentionally or by accident, their ballot is discarded. This is called overvoting.

The Approval Voting node explains what would happen if this were not "overvoting" but accepted voting practice. There is a grassroots movement for election reform that includes backers of several alternative electoral systems. Approval Voting is one of the proposed replacements. In an effort to use the concept wholistically, supporters of Approval Voting generally support all other efforts to replace the electoral method currently in use. One component that is missing from this movement is civil disobedience. This is where overvoting comes into play.

Elections officials watch for signs that something is wrong with the voting booth or the mechanisms through which ballots are marked or collected or counted. They will take notice as growing numbers of ballots are spoiled through the use of overvoting. As more people hear about what will officially be called a "problem," the "problem" will grow, placing increasing pressure on those responsible for improving the mechanisms of government.

The practice of overvoting wastes the voter's chance to have an effect on the official outcome of the election. However, some voters, myself included, feel that it is not important to vote because their fellow voters, en masse, will make a good decision. This, in fact, is the foundational concept of democracy. Among political parties, this feeling of trust between members of society is called "voter apathy" which is accurate to some degree, but only because of the underlying trust we have in Democracy itself. Overvoting on purpose is therefore a reflection of trust in those who will not overvote, as well as a community effort to spread the word about election method reform.

If and when someone who cares has access to the ballots that have been spoiled, the overvotes will be tallied and we will begin finding out which candidates ought to be our leaders. Help bring this day closer - Overvote!

O`ver*vote" (?), v. t.

To outvote; to outnumber in votes given.


Eikon Basilike.


© Webster 1913.

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