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: "If he votes for too many candidates for a given office, however, that particular section of the ballot is illegal, because it is not possible for the tellers to determine for whom the member desired to vote."
While an overvote in a plurality voting system 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, pA-13 Election Assistance Commission
- RONR [10th ed.], p. 402, l. 8-11
- Alvarez, R. Michael; Katz, Jonathan N.; Hill, Jonathan N. (September 20, 2005). "Machines Versus Humans: The Counting and Recounting of Pre-scored Punchcard Ballots". VTP WORKING PAPER #32. CALTECH/MIT VOTING TECHNOLOGY PROJECT. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- Citizens for Approval Voting - Voting definitions and examples
- Briefing Paper: Roundtable on Proxy Voting Mechanics
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