[DAO:99cfab0] Should DAO proposals have a pre-defined 'Abstain' voting option?

by 0x511a22cdd2c4ee8357bb02df2578037ffe8a4d8d (ginoct)


To give 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.

Proposed Solution

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)


  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Yes
  • No
  • Invalid question/options

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View this proposal on Snapshot

Isnt abstaining by definition not voting? I don’t understand why you’d have an option for “I don’t want to vote”. Additional options make it more confusing and fracture those who do choose vote on a particular proposal into more categories.

The reason is that someone might wanted to change from their “Yes” or “No” to Neutral, but they cannot do so under the current setup, (they cannot cancel their Vote) thus needing this new option.


I like a neutral choice since canceling your vote is not an option, were someone to regret their decision but not want to influence the outcome. Abstaining is the neutral option now, but I think having the data from this is nice, plus giving people more opportunities to participate helps them get more comfortable so they’ll be more likely to vote on important issues.

My first thought was that if we don’t want to vote, we just don’t have to vote. It’s very simple. But the value of this additional option would be when you want to change your vote after already voting. Occasionally new information might be presented that changes our opinion. The new information might be enough to give us pause, but not enough to change our vote to the opposing view (for instance, we might need time to fully research the situation). Having a 3rd option that will allow us to remove our vp from the overall outcome is a clear way to give us more control, and will better decentralize the voting process.


So @MorrisMustang what @Canessa is saying is correct. It may not seem like an issue however on my last proposal @RobL voted NO on my proposal. And with his 4M VP it then pretty much put massive fear into anyone else in the future wanting to vote YES due to the repercussions it could have. However after going in depth with him on my proposal he then said he will be down to change to a YES if I got 3.5M VP. He also felt bad and knew that his vote would also effect my further campaigning (which it did) and he even recommended me to create a whole new additional 3rd proposal to get rid of his NO vote in hopes it helped. I told him that as well sadly would not be a good option since people were already getting annoyed from this being 2nd proposal including yourself and I know a 3rd revision would have been way to much in terms of annoyance for people asking people to vote 3 times. This (abstain) vote option would have helped solved this issue. He could have then chosen to change NO to (abstain) which would have been a win win for all.

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“Undecided” would be a better term for it than “Abstain”.

If you make a vote and then want to withdraw it, its too late to Abstain because you’ve already casted a vote. But you can change your stance to Undecided after hearing some additional context from the proposal author or additional points made in the comments.

An even better option to me would be to “Withdraw Vote” which removes your existing vote altogether. And then recast it later on if you want.

I agree, a ‘Withdraw Vote’ option would be great.

I believe this is a positive addition.

I am opposed to a withdrawal of the votes. I feel that once a vote has been cast, it has been cast, the opportunity to change a vote is already a nice flexibility.

I fully agree with this proposal. Thanks for pushing it @ginoct.

I’d keep the absentia vote, just for the sake of allowing activity to be recorded on chain. This would even start providing means for whales to be encouraged to abstain on votes, whilst remaining active in the DAO.

A massive problem at the moment is when we choose to vote, we can only swap between the opposing views (unless it’s a poll, where Invalid Question is an option, but again, that kinda counts like a no).

An abstaining vote will allow us to retain engagement in the decision-making process (from a data standpoint), whilst offering more democratic fluidity to the electorate.

10M Votes recorded on chain as abstaining votes is far more valuable to our decision-making system than 10M votes which remained unrecorded due to the electorate’s/voter’s neutral position.

1 Like

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

This proposal is now in status: FINISHED.

Voting Results:

  • Yes 77% 2,515,898 VP (177 votes)
  • No 23% 766,158 VP (22 votes)
  • Invalid question/options 0% 0 VP (2 votes)

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

This proposal has been PASSED by a DAO Committee Member (0xfe91c0c482e09600f2d1dbca10fd705bc6de60bc)