Non-Voted Ballots, Voter Fatigue, and Race

38 Pages Posted: 28 May 2004 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017

See all articles by John R. Lott

John R. Lott

Crime Prevention Research Center

Date Written: August 4, 2005


With the enormous controversy over the 2000 Presidential election in Florida, the focus on the non-voted ballots in Presidential races is understandable. Yet, those going to the polls fail to select a candidate in other races down the ballot at even higher rates, and the voting system used. The ward-level data presented here for Ohio elections during 1992, 1996, and 2000 demonstrate that the focus on races at the top of the ballot has been very misleading. The rush to eliminate punch card ballots actually risks increasing the number of non-votes for other offices by much more than non-votes for Presidential elections are reduced.

Keywords: Non-voted ballot rates, discrimination, electronic voting, punch cards

JEL Classification: H0, J70, J78

Suggested Citation

Lott, John R., Non-Voted Ballots, Voter Fatigue, and Race (August 4, 2005). Public Choice, Vol. 138, No. 1, 2009. Available at SSRN: or

John R. Lott (Contact Author)

Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )

PO Box 3234
Alexandria, VA
United States

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