The exact definition of overvotes is ambiguous in a contest with N-of-M voting, where N of M choices can be selected and N>1 (vote for no more than N). Sometimes overvotes are reported as the number of ballots overvoted in the contest, and sometimes it is reported as N*overvoted-ballots.
While an overvote in a plurality voting system or limited voting is always illegal, in certain other electoral methods including approval voting, this style of voting is valid, and thus invalid overvotes are not possible.
In the corporate world, the term "overvote" describes a situation in which someone votes more proxies than they are authorized to, or for more shares than they hold of record.
- 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines Archived 2008-06-13 at the Wayback Machine, pA-13 Election Assistance Commission
- Robert, Henry M. (2011). Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th ed., p. 416-417 (RONR)
Alvarez, R. Michael; Katz, Jonathan N.; Hill, Jonathan N. (September 20, 2005). "Machines Versus Humans: The Counting and Recounting of Pre-scored Punchcard Ballots" (PDF). VTP WORKING PAPER #32. CALTECH/MIT VOTING TECHNOLOGY PROJECT. Retrieved 2008-06-12. Cite journal requires
- Citizens for Approval Voting - Voting definitions and examples
- Briefing Paper: Roundtable on Proxy Voting Mechanics
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