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What counts as a spoilt vote?

  • 26-10-2018 8:58pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7


    I wasn't thinking and after voting in the referendum, I just put an X next to my only presidential choice as well. Will my vote be counted?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,104 ✭✭✭✭Water John


    I think they accept that as indicating your singular preference. Maybe they are stricter nowadays.
    They would be cognisant of the possible confusion with two ballots.

    Wonder did Nancy Stewart aged 105 make an error?


  • Registered Users Posts: 7 MacAoidh


    Great, thanks!


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,789 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    If the voter's intention is clear and unambiguous, the ballot will be accepted. You'll be fine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,153 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    MacAoidh wrote: »
    I wasn't thinking and after voting in the referendum, I just put an X next to my only presidential choice as well. Will my vote be counted?


    That is a decision for the returning officer. I believe there was an argument made in a recent election that an X for one candidate could mean that the person was against that candidate rather than expressing a preference for him/her. That would mean a clear preference wasn't indicated.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,336 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    There is another requirement that the vote cannot be identified - for example writing on the ballot paper to indicate that it was you that voted, as opposed an anonymous vote. This is to prevent votes being purchased in some way.

    It could be deemed writing 'one' against the candidate instead of '1' could be considered as such. The returning officer makes such decisions.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,427 ✭✭✭Markcheese


    MacAoidh wrote: »
    I wasn't thinking and after voting in the referendum, I just put an X next to my only presidential choice as well. Will my vote be counted?

    Almost did the same, as I was only making one choice on the presidential ballot, I was about to mark an X, (I hadn't really considered that it could be a single transferable vote in a presidential election).

    Slava ukraini 🇺🇦



  • Registered Users Posts: 21,104 ✭✭✭✭Water John


    Turns out it wasn't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 40,740 ✭✭✭✭Annasopra


    MacAoidh wrote: »
    I wasn't thinking and after voting in the referendum, I just put an X next to my only presidential choice as well. Will my vote be counted?

    Yes it is counted

    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.

    Terry Pratchet



  • Registered Users Posts: 40,740 ✭✭✭✭Annasopra


    blanch152 wrote: »
    That is a decision for the returning officer. I believe there was an argument made in a recent election that an X for one candidate could mean that the person was against that candidate rather than expressing a preference for him/her. That would mean a clear preference wasn't indicated.

    Nope

    An x and nothing else is counted as a clear preference

    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.

    Terry Pratchet



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,020 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    But if, in a two-horse race (like a referendum) you put a tick in one box and an "X" in the other, that's likely to be treated as spoiled.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 632 ✭✭✭Rhineshark


    Not a question about spoiled votes but was wondering - how do blind people deal with our paper ballot system?

    Many legally blind people probably could make the ballot out with time and knowing the layout of a generic ballot (alphabetical etc) but there'd be some that couldn't. Anyone know?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,350 ✭✭✭jprboy


    There are several arrangements in place to enable people with certain disabilities to exercise their voting rights. You can:

    Vote at an alternative polling station if the local station is inaccessible
    Be helped to vote at the polling station by a companion or the presiding officer
    Vote in a referendum using a ballot paper template if you have a visual impairment
    Vote by post
    Vote at a hospital, nursing home or similar institution if you live there.
    At least one of these facilities is available to you if you have a physical illness or disability, a visual impairment or a reading or writing disability.

    Following a High Court ruling in 2017, ballot paper templates have been introduced to facilitate people with visual impairments to vote by secret ballot in referendums and presidential elections.

    Source: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/government_in_ireland/elections_and_referenda/voting/facilities_for_voters_with_disabilities.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,020 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    If you have a visual impairment or a physical disability which prevents you from voting without assistance you can bring a companion of your choice to fill out the ballot on your behalf and at your direction. The companion has to be over 16, not a candidate and not an agent for a candidate, and the same person can act as companion to a maximum of two voters. A companion goes into the booth with you, fills out your ballot paper and puts it in the box for you.

    If you don't want to bring a companion, you can ask the presiding officer to assist you. In that case the candidates' agents will also be present to observe, to ensure that the presiding officer fills out the ballot in accordance with your spoken directions. This should happen in a place where other cannot overhear what you say, and if necessary the polling station will be cleared while you vote.

    More recently, they have introduce raised print and braille templates that go over the ballot paper, but have holes through which you can mark the ballot paper. The template has tactile markings on it so that you know where to number each candidate in the order of your choice. This enables you to vote without involving either a companion or the presiding officer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,780 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    Hidden disabilities should also be accomadated for, but im not really sure how, in order to preserve privacy


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,020 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    Hidden disabilities should also be accomadated for, but im not really sure how, in order to preserve privacy
    There's no distinction in treatment between obvious and non-obvious disabilities. If you're illiterate, for example, that's not obvious; people will not know unless you tell them. But, just as if you had a physical visual impairment, you can ask the presiding officer to assist you, and he will.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,780 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Wanderer78 wrote: »
    Hidden disabilities should also be accomadated for, but im not really sure how, in order to preserve privacy
    There's no distinction in treatment between obvious and non-obvious disabilities. If you're illiterate, for example, that's not obvious; people will not know unless you tell them. But, just as if you had a physical visual impairment, you can ask the presiding officer to assist you, and he will.

    Hidden disabilities are complex though, I'm autistic and dyslexic myself, voting can actually be fairly stressful for such things, confusion is common, and embarrassment, these disabilities can be very sensitive to approach.


  • Registered Users Posts: 632 ✭✭✭Rhineshark


    Thanks for the answers - I was wondering if there was any use for Braille backings/frames for the ballot papers when I was mulling the question.

    While disabilities might be a debatable arguments for machine voting, paper seems a heck of a lot safer given some of the mischief that's been going on elsewhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,780 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78


    Rhineshark wrote: »
    Thanks for the answers - I was wondering if there was any use for Braille backings/frames for the ballot papers when I was mulling the question.

    While disabilities might be a debatable arguments for machine voting, paper seems a heck of a lot safer given some of the mischief that's been going on elsewhere.

    Paper ballots have their issues to, even putting aside the disability stuff, I would be more inclined to stay with it though


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,317 ✭✭✭✭seamus


    Electronic voting makes it much easier to stuff a ballot box. No voting system is perfect, but paper is pencil is still incredibly the most secure and the hardest to game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,020 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    And, even of you have an e-voting system that is secure against ballot-stuffing, the question is how the public can be confident that it is secure. If people don’t have faith in the integrity of the system that’s a huge problem, even if the system is in fact sound.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,336 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    And, even of you have an e-voting system that is secure against ballot-stuffing, the question is how the public can be confident that it is secure. If people don’t have faith in the integrity of the system that’s a huge problem, even if the system is in fact sound.

    The pursuit of eVoting was misdirected.

    The aim was to speed up the declaration of the result, but had all the problems of avoiding an unverifiable result. The Government ended up owning the expensive obsolete hardware, but not the bespoke software. The system did not work, and was abandoned before it had done a complete election. What a waste.

    However, what was needed was eCounting. That could be achieved by optical recognition of the ballot paper which could be read at the polling centre or centrally. The annonimised votes could be printed out for a few sample boxes and verified. If all was OK, then the computer software crunched out the result in exactly the same way as now, with intermediate results declared as the count progressed. Otherwise, if the verification failed, count the lot by hand.

    There are other ways of achieving verifiable electronic votes such as printing out the vote as it is cast and passing it to a ballot box, and lots of other ways. But the idea is to have a cheap system that is robust against corruption, and ballot stuffing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,686 ✭✭✭✭Zubeneschamali


    However, what was needed was eCounting.

    What was wanted was eCounting, to speed up counts.

    But it isn't needed at all - counting takes a few days every few years, and there is no actual urgency to it. The new Dail starting a day or two earlier will make zero difference in reality,

    It is far, far more important that the system is transparent and verifiable than that it is fast. And paying a bunch of people to count manually every few years is always going to be cheaper than a proper evoting system which then only gets a workout once every 3 years or whatever.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,336 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    What was wanted was eCounting, to speed up counts.

    But it isn't needed at all - counting takes a few days every few years, and there is no actual urgency to it. The new Dail starting a day or two earlier will make zero difference in reality,

    It is far, far more important that the system is transparent and verifiable than that it is fast. And paying a bunch of people to count manually every few years is always going to be cheaper than a proper evoting system which then only gets a workout once every 3 years or whatever.

    Well, yes.

    We only NEEDED eCounting (eVoting as part of it) just to satisfy the ego of certain politicians who like to show Ireland in the forefront of technology and that Ireland is always looking to be in the vanguard of countries implementing the latest ideas. All guff.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,020 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    I like the manual count. Just sayin'.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,336 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    I like the manual count. Just sayin'.

    The manual count is like a blood sport, with highs and lows for the candidates, and like a good match, the outcome is not always as expected. I think it builds interest in elections, and so in democracy.

    We should keep it.


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