[E-voting] Electoral rules

Margaret McGaley mmcgaley at cs.nuim.ie
Thu Mar 16 08:43:44 GMT 2006

Thanks Ciaran, but what I'm interested in is not the side cases where a 
surplus is smaller than a given threshold and therefore treated 
differently. I'm talking about the default case, where there are several 
surpluses larger than that threshold and we must choose which to 
transfer. I believe that the 1923 rules said "Take the one that arose 
first. If two or more arose at the same earliest count, choose the 
larger. If two or more of those are the same size <complicated stuff>". 
I believe that this was changed in the 1992 version to say "Take the 
largest first. If there are two or more of the same largest size, choose 
the one that arose first. If two or more of those are the same size 
<complicated stuff>".

I'm not saying I don't understand the <complicated stuff>, it's just not 
relevant to this particular question. Did the rules change from
Count arising --> Size --> Other
Size --> Count arising --> Other



Ciaran Quinn wrote:

> 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
> Ciaran
> ..

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