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Can candidates see whether I voted or not?

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  • 24-05-2019 11:52pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 5


    Can the candidates or their election agents or canvassing teams see whether or not I voted?
    I was canvassed by an acquaintance who is an enthusiastic supporter of one of the candidates, and they were expecting me to vote for that candidate today in my homeplace, where I usually come back to every weekend.
    However, this weekend it was not convenient for me to travel home today, as I haver other reasons for staying in my current location until tomorrow, which is in a different part f the country.
    When I voted on previous occasions, the polling station staff drew a line through my name on the list when I arrived.
    Will the canvassing team have access to this list showing who did and didn't vote?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 68,515 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Officially no. It's not implausible to get a gawk at a page if on view, and I also found struck off lists from the '99 locals and Euros dumped in school bins and hence retrievable


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,600 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Typishasa wrote: »
    Can the candidates or their election agents or canvassing teams see whether or not I voted?
    I was canvassed by an acquaintance who is an enthusiastic supporter of one of the candidates, and they were expecting me to vote for that candidate today in my homeplace, where I usually come back to every weekend.
    However, this weekend it was not convenient for me to travel home today, as I haver other reasons for staying in my current location until tomorrow, which is in a different part f the country.
    When I voted on previous occasions, the polling station staff drew a line through my name on the list when I arrived.
    Will the canvassing team have access to this list showing who did and didn't vote?


    Technically no, as has been explained already. However, if they lived next door to you, and arrived in at 9.55, they would know who on their road had voted already, and who had not, while they were waiting for their name to be crossed off as the page would be visible.

    There are also a number of features to our voting system that mean it isn't fully confidential. When you are handed a ballot paper, there is a number on it. If the person sitting there remembers your number, your vote can be traced. Why would they do that? Well, you might be Pat Kenny or Ryan Turbidy.

    That mental note of your ballot paper (or noted in writing) could be passed to someone who is working on the count. As the ballots are counted, your number (or Pat's) might be spotted and either a count worker or a tallyman would know who you voted for.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 5 Typishasa


    Thanks, for above replies. I wondered if the campaign teams could request this list afterwards to analyse it in detail, but I am somewhat reassured now that it is not officially available to them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,360 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    L1011 wrote: »
    I also found struck off lists from the '99 locals and Euros dumped in school bins
    This shouldn't happen, as all the documentation should be available to the returning officer for checking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 68,515 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    That was in '99 so hopefully things have been tightened up since!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭Grudaire


    Hate to say it lads, but they can see the marked register, so yes they can tell if you voted (but not how)

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/parties-buy-registers-showing-who-voted-1.1099451?mode=amp

    Any party worth their salt would know not to hassle you over it (spilled milk and they'll want your next vote!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,102 ✭✭✭manonboard


    Grudaire wrote: »
    Hate to say it lads, but they can see the marked register, so yes they can tell if you voted (but not how)

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/parties-buy-registers-showing-who-voted-1.1099451?mode=amp

    Any party worth their salt would know not to hassle you over it (spilled milk and they'll want your next vote!)


    That is both surprising and unnerving. It seems not only is it possible, but also very commonly done..
    I really would of assumed the register would be treated as confidential just like my vote. My choice to vote or not vote, being representative of my vote.

    Thanks for the new info.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 8,475 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sierra Oscar


    All the political parties will request copies of the marked register. The data is compiled over time and trends are monitored. A candidate with a well run campaign will know to skip over houses that never vote. Waste of time in their mind. I've had a look at the marked registers myself down through the years. They're not too hard to get your hands on. You can cross-reference the data with the tallies from the specific ballot boxes on count day and you get a breakdown of how individual boxes voted.

    Campaigns will also monitor the marking of the register during polling day itself. They'll know if they need to get the vote out in certain areas - estates, streets, town lands and so on. Polling clerks are very forthcoming with the turnout figures during polling day. I'm fairly sure they have to give the information on request. It's an open democratic process after all.


  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,798 Mod ✭✭✭✭oscarBravo


    How you vote is confidential. Whether or not you vote is a matter of public record - after all, you do it in a public place.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,377 ✭✭✭Technique


    In my polling station there were what I assumed to be representatives of political parties sitting inside the door with pen and paper. When my wife and I handed our voting cards to the polling clerk, she called out our numbers to these people. I'm guessing that they had a copy of the electoral register and were marking off our names as having voted.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,960 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34


    Turnout figures are calculated as a percentage of issued ballots over the total electorate for the table/station, not by counting off the register, there isnt time for that.

    Also, although some poll staff do also count votes, they arent assigned to the electoral area of their own polling station for the count. And even if you had the counterfoil number of a particular ballot, it would be the proverbial needle in a haystack to find it.

    I have been both a presiding officer and count staff in my time, ask me anything about the process you might wish to know.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,636 ✭✭✭feargale


    There are occasional circumstances in which your vote can be definitely known.
    In my locality I was told how a certain prominent strictly non-political citizen voted in a referendum. How was it known? Because every vote in his particular polling booth was a yes vote.

    Likewise I know of a person who was expected to vote for a person who was his party's only candidate in his area, and was embarrassed that the local party apparachiks knew he hadn't done so - for the same reason. The candidate got no vote out of his box.

    I can't speak for Dublin but in rural Ireland where there are some very small polling stations the local potentates have mathematical powers that would make Einstein look like a junior cert student. They would remember exactly how the vote went at the previous election, and could very expertly analyse any change, taking into account deaths, emigration etc. (assuming the dead hadn't voted) and if they couldn't identify the renegade with certainty they would at least have a good idea. Any suspect might be closely observed afterwards by An Dearthár Mór. Changing his reading habits from the Irish Independent to the Irish Press would be of interest. Matters could also have a bearing on any application for a rate collector's job.

    I wouldn't care to be voting on Tory Island where, I understand, the electorate amounts to four.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16 Acoustic18


    L1011 wrote: »
    Officially no. It's not implausible to get a gawk at a page if on view, and I also found struck off lists from the '99 locals and Euros dumped in school bins and hence retrievable
    Technique wrote: »
    In my polling station there were what I assumed to be representatives of political parties sitting inside the door with pen and paper. When my wife and I handed our voting cards to the polling clerk, she called out our numbers to these people. I'm guessing that they had a copy of the electoral register and were marking off our names as having voted.

    This might explain the struck-off lists that L1011 found in the bin.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16 Acoustic18


    feargale wrote: »
    They would remember exactly how the vote went at the previous election, and could very expertly analyse any change, taking into account deaths, emigration etc. (assuming the dead hadn't voted)...

    Wasn't there a situation somewhere at an election when, apparently, a significant number of deceased people voted!?


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