Eleven International Publishing

Opening the Opaque Blank Box An Exploration into Blank and Null Votes in the 2018 Walloon Local Elections

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Introduction

In recent years, political science research has devoted extensive attention to voter turnout. However, only a few studies have focused on those voters who go to the polling station to cast an invalid vote (i.e., blank and null votes). This group of voters is relevant in the study of any democracy, but they are all the more relevant in Belgium where voting is compulsory. In such contexts, invalid votes allow us to better understand the electorate’s behaviour.