[E-voting] Electoral rules

Margaret McGaley mmcgaley at cs.nuim.ie
Fri Mar 10 15:43:12 GMT 2006

Hello all,

I've been comparing the electoral rules from 1923 with the version in 
the 1992 act (with amendments from 2001). It seems to me that the new 
rules make significant changes to the order in which surpluses should be 
distributed (details below). Was this intentional? Was there a lot 
of/any debate at the time? (The most important changes were brought in 
by the 1992 act (*1))

My understanding of the 1923 rules (*2) (specifically with regard to the 
order of distribution of surpluses) is:

Surpluses should be transferred in the order they arose  (section 6.5). 
Where multiple surpluses arise from the same count, the largest should 
be transferred first (section 6.6). If there there are multiple 
surpluses from the same earliest round of the same largest size (section 
6.7), you compare candidates' vote counts starting at the first round 
and continuing till the current round until you a) find a round where 
one candidate had a larger vote count and transfer his surplus or b) you 
draw lots.

As far as I can make out, the 1992 act changes this ordering to 
prioritise size over the count at which the surplus arose (sections 
121.9, .10, .11), and the 1997 amendment strengthens that new 
interpretation (*3).

Can anyone shed any light on this?


*1   http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/ZZA23Y1992.html 118 - 128
*2   http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/gen131923a.html
*3   http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/ZZA38Y2001S29.html

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