[E-voting] Electoral rules

Ciaran Quinn election at polarbears.com
Wed Mar 15 23:03:27 GMT 2006

Margaret McGaley wrote:
> I left out reference to the tricky cases with particularly small 
> surpluses for simplicity's sake. What I'm interested in here is the 
> more general case. 
The general procedure as far as I am aware is that surpluses are only 
transferred where they can make a difference - ie. if they can prevent 
someone from being eliminated or if the transfer could bring a candidate 
to a threshold where he can claim expenses (or, in previous elections, 
to the level at which he could save his deposit).

For example, in Kerry South 2002, John O Donoghue had a surplus of 
almost 300 votes at the first count. This surplus was not distributed 
until the 4th count at which point O Donoghue was still the only elected 
candidate. At this point the lowest candidate, Sheila Casey, had 2216 
votes and the next lowest candidate had 4791 votes. Clearly Casey was 
going to be eliminated, but O Donoghue's surplus had to be distributed 
first because it might have brought Casey to the level (25% of the quota 
= 2291 votes) where she could claim expenses.

Surpluses can also be distributed even after all seats have been filled 
if this can help a candidate to reach a threshold although this is very 
rare - in the 3-seat constituency of Donegal South West in November 1982 
there were 3 candidates elected on the first count but all their 
surpluses were then distributed because they could bring another 
candidate above the threshold to save their deposit


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