Grant M. Hayden (Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law) has posted Sins of Omission: Abstention in Democratic Institutions (University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2016) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Assumptions regarding the effect of an abstention guide the theory and practice of abstention across the full range of democratic decisionmaking. Sometimes, however, these assumptions are false, and may prevent voters from achieving their objectives. This Article examines the effect that abstention has under common voting procedures, dispelling many assumptions that voters make about the effect of an abstention.