Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-12-40

Published in International Journal of Innovative Management, Information & Production (IJIMIP), 2012, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 80-84.


Many decisions are made by voting. At first glance, the more people participate in the voting process, the more democratic -- and hence, better -- the decision. In this spirit, to encourage everyone's participation, several countries make voting mandatory. But does mandatory voting really make decisions better for the society? In this paper, we show that from the viewpoint of decision making theory, it is better to allow undecided voters not to participate in the voting process. We also show that the voting process would be even better -- for the society as a whole -- if we allow partial votes. This provides a solid justification for a semi-heuristic "fuzzy voting" scheme advocated by Bart Kosko.