2017/L2 Amendment to the Fiôván Elections and Referendum Law (Praisidíeu Elections)(Fiova)

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EPHEMERAL STATUS

Sponsored by: Miestrâ Schivâ

Approved by:
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Date: 26 October 2017/XXXVIII

It amends the following:
2012/L1

Fiôvâ Provincial Chancery

WHEREAS if we decide to enact the idea of a Standing Committee or Praisidíeu of the General Assembly as detailed in another bill before this Assembly, we'll need multi-seat election rules;

AND WHEREAS the current bill contains rules for counting votes in an STV (ranked-choice for multiple seats) election which are cut-and-pasted directly from the electoral law of the Australian Capital Territory, which has used this voting system since 1992, with only a few amendments to make it appropriate for our smaller electorate;

AND WHEREAS I've taken the liberty of tidying up the Elections and Referendums Act in a few more ways;

AND WHEREAS the last section on voting system is insanely technical but necessary, and if you don't have a head for maths you can skip right to the last bit where it says AUTOMATIC COUNTING:

BE IT ENACTED by the General Assembly of Fiôvâ that 2012/L1, the Fiôvan Elections and Referendums Act, shall be amended as follows:

1. Title II.1, first section, shall be amended to read:

This section shall apply equally to elections for the Capitán of Fiôvâ, the Senator from Fiôvâ, the Praisidíeu of Fiôvâ's General Assembly, and to referendums.

2. Title III shall be replaced in total as follows:

TITLE III. PROCEDURES FOR ELECTIONS

  1. The Secretary of State shall call for nominations for Capitán, for Senator or for the Praisidíeu whenever an election for this position becomes due under the Constitution, or Organic Law in the case of the position of Senator.
    1. A nomination as described above shall include:
      the candidate's full name;
      their party affiliation (if any); and
      a statement, no longer than fifty words, of the candidate’s aims and objectives.
    2. The abovementioned nominations shall be communicated to the Secretary of State, no more than seven days after the opening of nominations. The Secretary of State may, if in the circumstances it seems expedient to the creation of fairer elections, extend the deadline for nomination.
    3. Upon the receipt of the nomination, if the nomination is in order, the Secretary of State shall confirm to the candidate that their nomination has been accepted.
    1. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Capitán, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing.
    2. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Senator, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then immediately restart the election process; if again no nominations have been received, then Fiôvâ's Senäts’ seat should be declared vacant.
    3. Upon the day following the close of nominations for the election of the Praisidíeu, if no nominations have been received, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing. If the number of nominations received is less than or equal to the number of seats in the Praisidíeu, the Secretary shall declare all nominated candidates elected, and the remaining seat or seats to be vacant.
  2. If none of the circumstances in section 3 above pertain, then the Secretary of State shall publish the names of all candidates standing, as well as their fifty word statements. Seven days following that, s/he shall make the ballot paper available to all electors as outlined below.
    1. A political party may endorse a candidate, whether or not the candidate his or herself states his party affiliation, by publicly acknowledging it upon their publication by the Secretary.
    2. If the Secretary of State is his or herself one of the candidates for the election, then they shall appoint one or more Deputies as provided in Title I.2, and shall delegate all their functions under this Act for the remainder of that election to such Deputies.
  3. The ballot paper for an election shall be prepared as follows:
    1. the names of the candidates, in the form of the candidate's surname followed by his or her initials, shall appear on the ballot paper in a random order;
    2. each ballot paper shall have an "PRESENT" option listed last on the ballot paper after the names of all the candidates; and
    3. a box shall appear to beside each name and beside the "PRESENT" option. This is the box in which electors will fill out their preferences.
  4. To vote, each voter shall then place a number in the box next to the name of each candidate they wish to vote for in order of preference, with "1" being the first preference, "2" being the second preference and so on, for as many preferences as they desire.
    1. If the elector does not wish to vote for any candidate, they shall place a number "1" in the box next to the "PRESENT" option. Any further preferences expressed after the "PRESENT" option shall be of no effect.
    2. A ballot paper on which no "1" preference appears shall also be counted as a PRESENT vote.
    3. PRESENT votes shall not be counted towards any candidate, and shall not be used in determining the quota.
    4. If more than half of the ballots are PRESENT, then the election shall be void and the Secretary shall then restart the election process at a time of his/her choosing.
  5. At the close of the voting period, the Secretary of State shall either ascertain the successful candidate or candidates in accordance with Title 5 of this Act, Unless the election is void, the Secretary shall then declare the names of the successful candidates.
    1. If the election of the Senator is void according to Title V, then Fiôvâ's Senäts seat should be declared vacant.

3. Title V shall be replaced in total as follows:

TITLE V. COUNTING VOTES FOR ELECTIONS

  1. INTERPRETATION. In this Title, unless the contrary intention appears-

    "ballot paper" means a ballot paper which expresses one or more preferences in clear ranked order starting with 1.

    "continuing candidate" means a candidate, other than a successful candidate, an excluded candidate or a candidate who ceased to be a citizen before polling day.

    "count" means an allotment of votes under clause 3.1, 6.3, or 9.2.3.

    "count votes—see clause 1.1.

    "election" means an election for Capitán of Fiôva, Senator from Fiôvâ, or for the Praisidíeu of the General Assembly of Fiôvâ.

    "excluded candidate" means a candidate excluded under clause 8.

    "next available preference" means the next highest preference recorded for a continuing candidate on a ballot paper.

    "quota" —see clause 1.2;

    "Secretary" means the provincial Secretary of State of Fiôvâ.

    "successful candidate" means a candidate who is successful under clause 3, 4, 6, or 9.

    "surplus", in relation to a successful candidate, means the candidate’s total votes less the quota, if the resulting number of votes is 1/100 (0.01) or greater.

    "total votes", in relation to a candidate, means the sum of all votes allotted to the candidate."transfer value"—see clause 1.3.

    1. MEANING OF "COUNT VOTES"
      1. For this Title, count votes, in relation to a candidate, means the number of votes worked out as follows, rounded to the nearest 1/100th, or to 2 decimal places: BP * TV
      2. In this clause:
        BP means the number of ballot papers to be dealt with at a count that record the next available preference for the candidate.
        TV means the transfer value of those ballot papers.
    2. MEANING OF "QUOTA"
      1. For this Title, quota means the quota of an electorate for an election worked out as follows, rounded to the nearest 1/100th, or to 2 decimal places: BP/(N+1) + 0.01
      2. In this clause:
        BP means the number of ballot papers for the election.
        N means the number of positions to be filled at the election.
    3. MEANING OF "TRANSFER VALUE"
      1. For this Title, the transfer value of a ballot paper is the transfer value worked out under this clause.
      2. For the allotment of votes from the surplus of a successful candidate, the transfer value of a ballot paper that specifies a next available preference is worked out as follows: S/CP
      3. For the allotment of votes under clause 9.2.3 (Votes of excluded candidates), the transfer value is—
        1. for a ballot paper in relation to which votes were allotted to the excluded candidate under clause 3 (First preferences) — 1; or
        2. for a ballot paper in relation to which count votes were allotted to the excluded candidate under clause 6.3 (Surplus votes) or clause 9.2.3 (Votes of excluded candidates)—the transfer value of the ballot paper when counted for that allotment.
        3. However, if the transfer value of a ballot paper worked out in accordance with 1.2.2 would be greater than the transfer value of the ballot paper when counted for the successful candidate, the transfer value of that ballot paper is the transfer value of the ballot paper when counted for the successful candidate.
        4. In this clause:
          CP means the number of ballot papers counted for the candidate at the count at which the candidate became successful and that specify a next available preference.
          S means the surplus.
  2. DISREGARDING PREFERENCES
    1. If the same number is marked in 2 or more candidate squares on a ballot paper, those numbers and any greater number shall be disregarded in determining the elector’s preferences.
    2. If a number is missing from the series of consecutive whole numbers marked in the candidate squares on a ballot paper, the missing number and any greater number shall be disregarded in determining the elector’s preferences.
  3. FIRST PREFERENCES
    1. For each ballot paper recording a first preference for a continuing candidate, 1 vote shall be allotted to the candidate.
    2. For subclause 3.1, a ballot paper on which a first preference for a candidate who ceased to be a citizen before polling day is recorded shall be taken to record a first preference for the candidate for whom the next available preference is recorded.
    3. After the allotment of votes under subclause 3.1, each continuing candidate’s total votes shall be calculated and, if the votes equal or exceed the quota, the candidate is successful.
  4. SCRUTINY TO CEASE
    1. If, after a calculation under clause 3.3, 6.4 or 9.2.4, the number of successful candidates is equal to the number of positions to be filled, the scrutiny shall cease.
    2. If, after a calculation under clause 3.3 or 6.4 or after all the ballot papers counted for an excluded candidate have been dealt with under clause 9—
      1. the number of continuing candidates is equal to the number of positions remaining to be filled; and
      2. no successful candidate has a surplus not already dealt with under clause 6;
      each of those continuing candidates is successful and the scrutiny shall cease.
  5. SCRUTINY TO CONTINUE. If the scrutiny has not ceased in accordance with clause 4 and—
    1. 1 or more successful candidates have a surplus not already dealt with under clause 6—subject to clause 4, each surplus shall be dealt with in accordance with clause 6; or
    2. there are no successful candidates with such a surplus—1 continuing candidate shall be excluded in accordance with clause 8 and the ballot papers counted for him or her shall be dealt with in accordance with clause 9.
  6. SURPLUS VOTES
    1. Subject to clause 7, this clause applies in relation to the surplus of a successful candidate.
    2. Each ballot paper counted for the purpose of allotting votes to the successful candidate at the count at which the candidate became successful shall be dealt with as follows:
      1. if it does not specify a next available preference—it shall be set aside as finally dealt with for this part;
      2. if it specifies a next available preference—it shall be grouped according to the candidate for whom that preference is recorded.
    3. The count votes for each continuing candidate shall be determined and allotted to him or her.
    4. After the allotment under subclause 6.3, the continuing candidates’ total votes shall be calculated and, if the total votes of a candidate equal or exceed the quota, the candidate is successful.
  7. MORE THAN 1 SURPLUS
    1. In this clause—
      1. a reference to a successful candidate is a reference to a successful candidate with a surplus not already dealt with under clause 6; and
      2. a reference to the earliest count is a reference to the earliest count at which a successful candidate obtained a quota.
    2. If there are 2 or more successful candidates, the surplus of the relevant candidate shall be dealt with in accordance with clause 6.
    3. For subclause 7.2—
      1. if only 1 successful candidate obtained a quota at the earliest count—that candidate is the relevant candidate;
      2. if 2 or more successful candidates obtained a quota at the earliest count—the candidate who, of those candidates, has the largest surplus is the relevant candidate; or
      3. if 2 or more successful candidates (contemporary candidates) who obtained a quota at the earliest count have the same surplus, being a surplus larger than that of any other candidate who obtained a quota at the count and—
        1. 1 of the contemporary candidates had more total votes than any other contemporary candidate at the last count—that candidate is the relevant candidate; or
        2. 2 or more contemporary candidates have the same total votes, being a total larger than that of any other contemporary candidate (a non-tied contemporary candidate) at the last count—each non-tied contemporary candidate is no longer considered under this clause and—
          1. subparagraph 7.3.3.1 and this subparagraph are applied to each preceding count until a relevant candidate is worked out; or
          2. if a relevant candidate cannot be worked out by applying subparagraph 7.3.3.1 and this subparagraph to the preceding count—the contemporary candidate who is determined by the commissioner by lot is the relevant candidate.
  8. EXCLUSION OF CANDIDATES
    1. If clause 5 requires a candidate to be excluded, the candidate with the least total votes shall be excluded.
    2. If 2 or more candidates each have the same total votes, being fewer total votes than any other candidate and—
      1. 1 of the candidates had fewer total votes than any other of the candidates at the last count—that candidate is excluded; or
      2. 2 or more of the candidates have the same total votes, being a total fewer than that of any other candidate (a non-tied candidate) at the last count—each non-tied candidate is no longer considered under this clause and—
        1. paragraph 8.2.1 and this paragraph are applied to each preceding count until 1 candidate is excluded; or
        2. if 1 candidate cannot be excluded by applying paragraph (a) and this paragraph to the preceding count—the candidate who is determined by the Secretary of State by lot is excluded.
  9. VOTES OF EXCLUDED CANDIDATES
    1. If a candidate is excluded in accordance with clause 8, the ballot papers counted for the candidate shall be sorted into groups according to their transfer values when counted for him or her.
    2. Subject to subclause 9.3, each group under subclause 9.1 shall be dealt with as follows:
      1. if a ballot paper in the group does not specify a next available preference—it shall be set aside as finally dealt with for this part;
      2. if a ballot paper in the group specifies a next available preference—it shall be grouped according to the candidate for whom that preference is recorded;
      3. each continuing candidate’s count votes shall be determined and allotted to him or her;
      4. continuing candidates’ total votes shall be calculated and, if the votes of any of those candidates equal or exceed the quota, the candidate is successful.
    3. The groups referred to in subclause 9.1 shall be dealt with under subclause 9.2 starting with the group with the highest transfer value and, subject to subclause 4.1, continuing in descending order until all the groups have been dealt with.
  10. SETTING ASIDE BALLOT PAPERS. If, after a calculation under clause 3.3, 6.4 or 9.2.4, the total votes of a candidate who became successful on that calculation equal the quota, the ballot papers counted for that candidate shall be set aside for this part.
  11. VOTES FOR FORMER CITIZENS. If a candidate in an election dies or renounces their citizenship after the ballot papers are produced but before the votes are counted, a ballot paper on which a preference for that candidate is recorded shall be taken to record a preference for the candidate for whom the next available preference is recorded. If there is no such candidate, they shall be set aside.
  12. AUTOMATIC VOTE-COUNTING. As an alternative to the procedure above, the Secretary of State may perform the vote counting above by means of automatic software. The details of such software shall be published in the General Assembly, and the Secretary of State shall either:
    1. certify that the software will count the votes with essentially the same results as the procedure above; or,
    2. detail the differences between the procedure above and the software's procedure; in which case the General Assembly shall be required to endorse the use of this software by majority vote.