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A refused ballot, or similar alternative, is a choice available to voters in many elections. This is an alternative for many people to casting a disparaging Spoiled ballot, which is not counted separately from ballots which have been accidentally destroyed.

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Canada

Canadian federal elections do not allow a ballot to be refused. However, in provincial elections, the provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Alberta, as well as the Yukon Territory, all allow voters to "refuse" their ballot at a polling station, which is then recorded as having been refused.

During the 2000 Canadian federal election, a number of voters (chiefly in Edmonton, Alberta) ate their ballots, as part of what they dubbed the Edible Ballot Society, to protest what they saw as inherently unfair elections. The stunt led Elections Canada to propose that there be legislation allowing federal ballots to be officially refused.[1]

Russia

Russian electoral ballots contain a box named Against All, allowing the voter to register a "protest vote" against all the candidates running.

A March 2004 opinion poll saw ruling President Vladimir Putin draw 70% support from Russians, but "Against All" managed to claim the second place, ahead of the other candidates.[2]

In December 2004, "Against All" actually managed to draw the highest number of votes in the electoral districts of St. Petersburg, Sverdlovsk and Ulyanovsk. A repeat election led to St. Petersburg and Sverdlovsk electing proper Members of Parliament. Ulyanovsk's second vote however, after two candidates dropped out of the race, actually saw "Against All" gain more support in the polls, now pulling in 21.5% of the vote, nearly double what any of the actual candidates received.[3]

At present time "Against All" candidate is eliminated from ballots.[1]

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ CBC - Canada Votes 2004 - Daily Answer - Answer Reference Shelf
  2. ^ News Story - Department of History and Classics - University of Alberta
  3. ^ http://www.puertorico-herald.org/issues/2004/vol8n20/OnlyRussia.shtml
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