Ignorance or Opposition? Blank and Spoiled Votes in Low-Information, Highly Politicized Environments

Amanda Driscoll, Michael J. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Voters often make the effort to go to the polls but effectively throw their vote away by leaving their ballot blank or intentionally spoiled. Typically construed as anomalous or errant, we argue that blank and spoiled ballots are empirically differentiable and politically informative. We consider self-reported vote choice from a nationally representative survey following the 2011 Bolivian elections, in which 60 percent of votes cast were blank or spoiled. We estimate a multinomial logit model, finding that both blank and null voting were driven by political concerns, though null voting was more common among politically sophisticated individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-561
Number of pages15
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 12 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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