Election Complication

September 11 2017

The wait continues on election results as there has been no news for over 24 hours.

We’ve taken a look at an AEC video and the way our Council is being voted in is pretty much the same way a Senator gets elected.

Last report we talked about quotas and that Norm Brennan had 515 votes over the current progressive quota of 509 and we said that those 515 votes go to whoever all those voters, it is actually more complicated than that.

Readers may wonder why we mention Norm a lot, it is because he is the only candidate well above the quota to use as an example.

Now assuming all the first preferences votes have been counted and the quota is finalized as 509, there is a bit of mathematics involved to the next step.

Now you’re wondering how on Earth do they pick 515 ballot papers from the 1,024? To put simply they don’t.

They have to look at all of Norm’s 1,024 first preference votes and first find out who is preference #2 for all 1,024 ballot papers.

Here is where it gets tricky, preference #2 doesn’t get a full vote, they only get a fraction of the vote which is called a transfer vote.

First off to figure out a value of the transfer votes, you got to divide the number of surplus votes (515) Norm has by the total of Norm’s total votes (1,024).

So 515 divided by 1024 is 0.5029296875.

Next we’ll say Mac Wallace was listed as #2 preference 140 times, it will be 140 x 0.5029296875 and that will give Mac a voting boost of 70 votes plus decimal places which would still be too short to get him over the line.

The rules actually have it that the numbers stop four places after the decimal point but still makes things complicated.

But wait there’s more,What if there are not nine people with 509 or more votes?  The candidate with the least amount of votes is excluded and his or her votes gets distributed just like Norm’s (but less complicated) and the process of exclusion and transfer is repeated until all the candidates, except the number required to be elected, have been excluded.

After all that is done, the continuing candidates who have not already been elected are elected.

Hopefully all the above makes sense because there is a lot of terms involved, however Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 provides the answers in great detail, to find the details go to Schedule 5 and read from there.

A line from Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’ sums things up pretty nicely when it comes to the election process………’Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?’.


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