General Question

Berserker's avatar

What happens to a spoiled ballot?

Asked by Berserker (33509points) October 3rd, 2015

Like when you go voting and for some reason or another, a ballot ends up being defined as spoiled. Either accidentally or intentionally. You draw a penis on it, or a straight black line across it, or don’t add anything at all.

I was once told they take all spoiled ballots and distribute them to whatever candidate they want. That can’t be true, can it? What do they do with them? Are they filed under “spoiled”?

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8 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Depends on the state, the jurisdiction, and the reason it is spoiled. Some get shredded, some get set aside, some get counted by hand to see if the vote can be determined.

Coloma's avatar

@Symbeline Hah…so now we know you draw penises on your ballots. lol

filmfann's avatar

I was an Inspector for several elections in California, and the spoiled ballots had be returned to the Elections office. They are not distributed, or counted in any way. The inspector is responsible for all the ballots used, both spoiled and proper, to be accounted for, to prevent election fraud.

dappled_leaves's avatar

They certainly do not distribute spoiled ballots as votes for other candidates. That would be chaos. They do tally the number of spoiled ballots and report them somewhere.

For that reason, some people think a spoiled ballot is a great means of protest, and that a large number of spoiled ballots indicates that all of the parties should become more representative of the people’s wishes. Personally, I think that’s bullshit. The parties care only about crossing the finish line first – they are certainly not going to alter a winning strategy to accommodate people who showed up to a voting booth, then did not actually bother to vote.

Vote, people!

Berserker's avatar

Just for the record, I do not draw dicks on my ballots.

Judi's avatar

When I worked elections in CA every single ballot had to be accounted for. We would put spoiled ballots aside and at the end of the night submit them as spoiled. They weren’t counted but they were submitted.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

Hanging chads, anyone?

tynamite's avatar

In Britain spoiled ballots are counted.

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