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RE: TS blank and under votes

> From: Jeff Hintz [mailto:jhglobal@earthlink.net]
> Sent: Friday, July 30, 1999 2:24 PM
> To: 'Ken Clark'
> Subject: RE: TS blank and under votes
> Why do we track both blank votes and under votes.  It would seem
> much easier and less confusing to the end user to have only under votes.

Good question (I asked it myself years back).  It is quite difficult to
explain to people how to account for all votes with separate blank and under
vote stats, agreed.

Some jurisdictions treat blank races with rules that differ from under voted
races.  If you look at the reject settings for the AccuVote, you can reject
blank races and under voted races as separate options.  Presumably since
under votes can be rejected separately from blank votes, they should be able
to report that way too.

The short answer is simply that the blank vote stat gives more information
than the number of under votes.  Say you have a race on two ballot cards in
some vote center.  It is a vote for 3.  The oval positions are screwed up on
the second card, and no one did a fully marked L&A test.  Say we don't track
blank votes.  The results come back with 100 times counted and 60 under
votes.  You just interpret that as voter apathy.  Enter blank votes.  The
returns come back with 100 times counted, 20 blank, and 0 under voted.
Something went wrong.

Now, I basically agree that's contrived.  If there are 60 under votes I
would probably be suspicious anyway.  If people would rather see blank votes
go away, that is pretty easy to do.  I don't think there will be a lot of
support for that though, since the current system gives more information,
complicated or not.