Explainer: Spoiling Votes and Protest Voting

With the lack of any clear likeable anti-establishment candidate in Singapore’s 2023 Presidential Elections, there has been plentiful discussions online around spoiling one’s vote. CAPE dives into the history, theory, and practice of protest voting.

Note that this is a civic and voter education explainer, and is not an endorsement of spoiling your vote.


  1. Alvarez, R. Michael, D. Roderick Kiewiet, and Lucas Núñez. “A taxonomy of protest voting.” Annual Review of Political Science 21 (2018): 135-154.
  2. https://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/counting-agent-me-too/
  3. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_2013-10-25_190302.html
  4. Philip G. Roeder (1989) Electoral avoidance in the Soviet Union, Soviet Studies, 41:3, 462-483, DOI: 10.1080/09668138908411826; Karklins, R. (1986). Soviet Elections Revisited: Voter Abstention in Noncompetitive Voting. American Political Science Review, 80(2), 449-469. doi:10.2307/1958268; Power, T. J., & Roberts, J. T. (1995). Compulsory Voting, Invalid Ballots, and Abstention in Brazil. Political Research Quarterly, 48(4), 795–826. https://doi.org/10.1177/106591299504800407
  5. Alvarez, R., et al. (2018).
  6. Alvarez, R., et al. (2018).
  7. https://ipscommons.sg/spoilt-votes-in-the-ge-a-view-from-the-ground/
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