Ballot Use

Most New Yorker voters took the opportunity to rank candidates on their ballots. 



Most Inactive Ballots Are The Results of "Voluntary Abstention"

Inactive ballots occur when a ballot cannot be counted for a candidate in the current round of vote tabulation. Inactive ballots are sometimes called “exhausted ballots”. A ballot in NYC can become inactive in the following ways: 

  1. A voter chooses not to use all allowed rankings, and all ranked candidates are eliminated during the round-by-round tabulation. This is known as “inactive by voluntary abstention”.
  2. A voter uses as many rankings as allowed on their ballot (5 rankings in NYC), but all ranked candidates are eliminated during tabulation. This is known as “inactive by ranking limit”. 
  3. The voter makes an error which prevents their ballot from being counted. This is known as “inactive by error”. 


As is the case in other RCV jurisdictions, the vast majority of inactive ballots in New York City occurred due to voluntary abstention, or a voter choosing not to use all rankings. Pre-election polling suggested that most voters who planned not to fully rank their ballots say the primary reason is that they only liked one candidate.

Join Us Today to Help Create a More Perfect Union