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Why did voters leave some races blank?

They're called "under votes" - ballots that for some reason or another, voters choose to leave blank for some races.

There were a lot of under votes in Tuesday's election in Douglas County. Local election officials could only speculate why.

Maybe some only wanted to vote in the presidential race or on the constitutional amendments and skip the other elections.

Maybe they simply didn't know enough about the candidates for some of the offices to feel comfortable about voting for anyone.

Or maybe they just didn't want to take the time of filling in a few more ovals.

Whatever the reason, those under votes could have been a game changer in several elections:

•Mary Franson won the Representative District 8B race over Bob Cunniff by one vote. There were 532 under votes in that contest.

•Dan Olson defeated Carol Wenner in the District 5 Douglas County Commissioner election by 18 votes. There were 558 under votes.

•James Stratton won the District 2 county commissioner race over Norm Salto by 242 votes. There were 434 under votes.

• Bev Bales won the District 3 county commissioner race over Jerry Rapp by 232 votes. There were 233 under votes.

•Charlie Meyer was the winner in the District 4 county commissioner race, defeating Paul Anderson by 460 votes. There were 509 under votes.

•Todd Jensen defeated Elroy Frank for the Alexandria City Council Ward 5 seat by 112 votes. There were 269 under votes.

•Angie Krebs won the open Alexandria School Board seat over Laura Knudsen by 55 votes. There were 3,655 under votes in Douglas County.

Vicki Doehling, Douglas County deputy auditor, said that under votes are not neccessarily a bad thing.

"I appreciate the fact that some voters don't feel educated enough or comfortable about voting in some races," she said. "It shows they are taking voting seriously."