The Election Count- A Learning Opportunity

Why School Students Should Manage the Election and the Counting of Votes In Ireland voting in the general election takes place this Friday and this means a weekend of ballot boxes, exit polls, tally men and counting. We use a system of proportional representation (PR) that is very fair but very complex.  When you vote you mark candidates in order of preference on the ballot paper.  You can go through all the candidates assigning a  number to indicate 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th preferences and so on.  You can influence the outcome of who gets elected by means of your later preferences.  It is not unusual for the whole process to go through seven or more counts as the lower scoring candidates are eliminated and second and subsequent preferences from these votes are redistributed. Although the whole process appears complicated it’s based on some straight forward rules.  It is important however that voters understand the process so that they can avail of the full extent of their democratic choice. Normally we use civil servants and casual employees to work in the count centres – in many cases the local school is appropriated as the ballot station and even count centre.  Legally, Read More …