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Elections

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  • 04-11-2021 5:52pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 186 ✭✭


    Hi. Does anyone know:

    If I draw a line through the names of candidates that I don't want anywhere near a seat, does that spoil my ballot ? Quite simply, I don't trust the system, and if I leave a box blank, someone could put a number in there. The government that we have consists on mostly people who got elected on 5th, or lower, preference. That shouldn't be possible.



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,642 ✭✭✭Allinall


    It absolutely should be possible under the proportional representation system. By all means lobby to have the system changed.

    Your vote will be spoiled if you do as suggested. Better off not wasting your time going to the voting centre at all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,592 ✭✭✭✭28064212


    How would drawing a line through the candidates name prevent the tampering you describe? If you mark "1,2,3" and draw a line through a different candidate's name, the tamperer can still just put a 4 in the box, and it would likely be counted.

    More importantly, if the system was really open to such manipulation, there would be methods that would be far more effective.

    If you really want to prevent this type of tampering, just put a number in all boxes (or all boxes but one, it makes no difference).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Absolutely spoiled.

    And if everyone just voted limited preferences, seats would be filled without reaching quota. Both are legitimate.

    SF have whipped up a frenzy about people getting in on late counts and low preferences and it'll bite them in the arse next election when they run enough candidates and it happens to them. It doesn't delegitimize someone at all



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Any mark on a ballot paper that can identify the vote, will invalidate the vote.

    If the intention is to avoid interference with the vote, all boxes need to be filled.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,030 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    1. Nobody's altering votes in this country. The ballot papers are sealed in boxes in the polling locations and transported to the count centre by the guards. The seals are only broken when the boxes are opened in full view of the public in the count centre (I have witnessed this myself).
    2. Apart from local bragging rights the order of elections doesn't matter. In fact a huge factor that determines it is how many candidates a party runs in a particular constituency. Most of the ministers in the government were elected from constituencies where they had running mates from their own party which split the party vote. The reason that Sinn Fein topped the polls in so many constituencies is that in most of them they only had a single candidate. Every party tries to run the optimal number of candidates per constituency in order to maximise their total number of seats. Despite having loads of poll-toppers, SF actually made a bags of this because if they had ran more candidates they could have gotten quite a few more seats overall.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    SF ran the correct number of candidates for assuming the last poll before the declaration deadline was an outlier.

    Their problem is that it wasn't!



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,030 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    Yeah to be fair nobody saw that coming. They had an awful European & local election the previous year and in the back of their minds they probably remembered when they ran 3 in Donegal in 2016 and only managed to win 1 seat. It will be very interesting to see where they choose to run extra candidates in the next election.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,809 ✭✭✭✭martingriff


    They are doing a pretty horrible job if they have been tampering with votes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,571 ✭✭✭✭For Forks Sake


    Who, exactly is that someone that could put a number on your ballot, pray tell?


    And that's before we get to the complete absence of knowledge of Proportional Represesntation displayed in the latter part of the post.



  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 38,279 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    Couldn't disagree more. You should absolutely spoil you ballot if you don't like the candidates. Staying at home does nothing but saying that they're not good enough sends a signal.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    It's unfortunate that spoiling the ballot is the same as staying at home - just that a protest is visible to all.

    If there was a box - 'None of the above' that would be included in the valid vote and so change the quota calculation. The system is not designed to cope with protest votes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,030 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout


    I don't think anyone takes any notice of protest votes. More often than not they are written off as cranks rather than triggering any retrospection from political parties.

    Having said that, if I lived in a country with first past the post and in a constituency that wasn't competitive I could see myself possibly spoiling my vote through sheer frustration with the democratic deficit of that exact scenario.



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


    2 straight horizontal lines through the box instead of a number should be fine.

    It's been fairly well established that a ballot is counted if it indicates a "clear preference"

    So if you have 1, 2, 3, 4 and then every other box double-crossed out, it would be counted to 4 and then binned.

    Things that should be avoided:

    • Using an "X" to void a box. "X" is taken to indicate a preference. A ballot with a 1 and an X, or multiple X's, is considered spoiled
    • Using a diagonal (bottom-left to top-right) line to cross out the box. This may be interpreted as a tick, which follows the same rules as an X.

    There is of course always the chance that the ballot will be discounted even if you do double-cross it, and as said above, the odds of tampering are close to non-existent. Too many eyes watching.



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,592 ✭✭✭✭28064212


    Have previously posted this on another thread, but not voting is a terrible strategy for getting noticed. The general election turnout dropped 7% between 2011 and 2020, the equivalent of approximately 250,000 voters and no-one batted an eyelid. You're talking about a group 1.7 times the size of the entire Green party vote, and it got virtually no coverage.

    If you really insist on a protest vote, at the very least spoil your vote. There were ~17,000 spoiled votes in 2020 - if there was an organised movement to protest via spoiling, and it produced 250,000 spoiled votes, that would be newsworthy, and much more difficult to write off as apathy or a statistical anomaly.

    Although if you were organised enough to persuade 250,000 people to spoil their vote, setting up your own political party seems like a more worthwhile endeavour...

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    If you mark your vote so that it can be recognised, that will cause your vote to be spoilt. It is to stop voters from indicating to (whoever) that they voted in a particular way.

    Our system is simplicity itself - vote in the order of your preference, starting at 1 as the most preferred, and continue as many as you have a preference for. Could not be simpler.

    However counting is very complex, but that is nothing to do with the voter unless they are trying to game the system.



  • Registered Users Posts: 68,511 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Been a lot of rowing back on this in recent decisions.

    At best the vote will be disputed. It'll probably be considered spoiled

    There is realistically no chance of anyone managing to add continuing preferences to your vote as the entire process is extensively observed.



  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,606 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    This system fails because the vote can be identified as being marked by coming from a particular voter - not allowed.



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,099 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Voting here is very easy.

    Start at the top voting for those you want and work your way down.

    Start at the bottom with the highest number for those you want least and work your way back up.

    Putting candidates who don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected above a politician you don't like is a good way to 'spoil' a vote. Voting against a candidate sends a much stronger message than ignoring an election. And the politicians will know because tallymen watch the proceedings like hawks and share information regardless of party.



  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,099 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    If everyone who didn't trust the system spoiled their vote they could be safely ignored until they had a majority.

    And even then it would give the system an entire election cycle to counter act. The Green Party is an excellent example of this. Once the greens start to get enough votes other parties start adopting green policies to undermine them.


    This isn't the UK where outside of landslides the majority of seats are safe. Here, when it comes to the last seat in a constituency every vote can count.



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