[DAO:19d3587] Should DAO proposals have a pre-defined 'Abstain' voting option?

by 0x511a22cdd2c4ee8357bb02df2578037ffe8a4d8d (ginoct)

Linked Pre-Proposal

Should DAO proposals have a pre-defined ‘Abstain’ voting option?


This proposal is about adding an abstain predefined option to the DAO’s voting system. This would allow members to indicate that they do not wish to vote either for or against a proposal.


Adding an Abstain voting option would allow DAO members the option to abstain from voting on proposals, allowing them to express a neutral position rather than being forced to vote for or against a proposal. Also useful in cases where members have already voted and want to withdraw their vote without having to take a stance.


Currently, there is no way for people who have already voted on a proposal to take their VP out of the defining equation. If they voted YES, they can keep their vote or change it to NO. Especially for critical proposals, during the voting period, a message on Discord or the forum, a tweet, a conversation with another DAO member, a Town Hall, or your thought process could change your stance on a matter. Having an abstain option would allow members to keep being involved in the governance process without having to necessarily take a stance on the final outcome.


Adding an abstain predefined option to the DAO’s voting system (Similar to how the Invalid Question/Options currently work for Polls), would allow members to indicate that they do not wish to vote either for or against a proposal. This option would be available alongside the existing options of “Yes” and “No”. This option will be added only for proposals with Yes/No options (Not applicable to Pre-proposal Polls)


  • The abstain option will be added to the DAO’s Snapshot space and the Governance dApp and will be available to all members in Yes/No proposals (POIs, Catalyst Node, Name Ban, Grant Request, Linked Wearables Registry, Draft Proposal, and Governance Proposal).
  • The abstain option will be counted separately from the “for” and “against” votes, and will not affect the outcome of the vote.
  • A summary of the abstain votes will be included in the results of the vote, along with the total number of “for,” “against,” and abstain votes.



  • Allows members to express a neutral position on a proposal, rather than feeling forced to take a stance.
  • Provides a more accurate representation of member opinions, as it allows those who are unsure or neutral to make their views known.
  • Increases the legitimacy of the voting process and its engagement levels, as it allows all members to fully participate without feeling pressure to take a position they may not fully agree with.

Vote on this proposal on the Decentraland DAO

View this proposal on Snapshot

This legit would have saved me on my last grant proposal. 1,000% yes

Showing up to say you don’t want to participate wastes everyone’s time. If you already voted and feel so strongly to be changing your vote, it shouldn’t be because you no longer care to cast a vote in that proposal. This extra option will psychologically bias voters into grouping themselves into the “I dont care to participate” category which will not produce good outcomes for the DAO.

1 Like

I do agree however sadly the reality is that Whale votes carry weight and people don’t want to vote against their wishes in fear of it backfiring on them in the future. @RobL voted no on my proposal with this 4M VP and even he told me that he knew it would hard for me to get yes votes after his no vote and he wishes there was an Abstain vote for him to change it to since he did not want to change to yes since it would seem that he single handedly passed my proposal and only wanted to to vote yes on my proposal after I got 3.5M VP that way it would not look like that. Even tho he gave me his word and I got the 3.5M VP and decided to go against his word last minute. I could be wrong but I think Abstain would have solved his issue as he said it would. Altho it is hard to say since he decides to go against his word last minute.

I do not have data to back up the psychological bias toward apathy, it might be a good metric to analyze during the first months of this feature if it goes live. What I do know is that voters sometimes change their minds about a proposal and there is no other way besides casting the opposite option. I think it is worth trying.

Should DAO proposals have a pre-defined ‘Abstain’ voting option?

This proposal is now in status: PASSED.

Voting Results:

  • Yes 76% 1,348,181 VP (265 votes)
  • No 24% 434,849 VP (6 votes)