Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

An overvote occurs when one votes for more than the maximum number of selections allowed in a contest. The result is a spoiled vote which is not included in the final tally. One example of an overvote would be voting for two candidates in a single race with the instruction “Vote for not more than one.” Robert’s Rules of Order notes that such votes are illegal. Undervotes combined with overvotes (known as residual votes) can be an academic indicator in evaluating the accuracy of a voting system when recording voter intent.