PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

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2013-09-12

 

Copyright © Proportional Representation Society of Australia 2008

 

The copyrighted Rules below appear on PRSAís website for the purpose of counting ballots under these Rules, and are to be accessed for that purpose only. The Proportional Representation Society of Australia prohibits copying of the Rules, except under a written licence from it. The Rules appear in the Proportional Representation Manual, purchasable as shown below. See also PRSAV-T Incís Elections and Vote-counting Services.

 

(The Society's copyrighted Proportional Representation A3 Counting Sheets, and its copyrighted Proportional Representation Manual, which contains the formal Rules below, together with an Introduction, an Explanation of the Quota-preferential Method, Two Examples of Completed Counting Sheets and comments on them, plus Hints on Counting, and a blank Counting Sheet, can be purchased here) The PRSA National Constitution has adopted these Rules for the conduct of the elections of the governing bodies of each PRSA branch.

Rules of the Proportional Representation Society of Australia for Conducting

Elections by the Quota-Preferential Method of Proportional Representation

1.      The quota

 

1.1    The number of first preferences indicated for each candidate shall be counted and recorded and all voting papers which contain no clear indication of a first preference shall be rejected as informal.

 

1.2    In these rules, the words "voting paper" shall be read as including a record of a voterís preference by means, approved by the organization conducting the election, other than writing on a voting paper.

 

1.3    The aggregate value of the first preferences, expressed as the number of whole votes, or as the number of thousandths of a vote, shall be divided by the number exceeding by one the number of vacancies to be filled and the whole number next above the quotient or result shall be the quota, and throughout the counting, values shall be recorded in whole votes or thousandths of a vote according to the manner* in which the aggregate value of the first preferences was expressed.

 

2.     Surpluses arising from counting of first preferences

 

2.1    Any candidate who has a number of first preferences of value equal to or greater than the quota shall be recorded as elected.

 

2.2    If the value of the first preferences recorded for any candidate is equal to the quota, the whole of the voting papers on which a first preference is indicated for him shall be set aside as finally dealt with.

 

2.3    If the value of the first preferences recorded for any candidate is greater than the quota, then, except where Rule 3 is applied, the surplus over the quota shall be transferred to the other candidates not yet recorded as elected in the following manner:

 

2.3.1    The voting papers with first preference indicated for the elected candidate shall be re-examined and, for each unelected candidate, the number of these voting papers on which he is indicated as preferred to any other unelected candidate shall be counted and recorded.

 

2.3.2    If the total value of the voting papers recorded according to Rule 2.3.1 is greater than the surplus, the surplus shall be divided by the number of these voting papers and the result shall be the transfer value, provided that if the values are being recorded in thousandths of a vote any fraction in the result may be discarded. But if the number of voting papers with no further preference indicated is so large that the total value of the voting papers recorded according to Rule 2.3.1 is less than or equal to the surplus, the transfer value shall be the full value of the voting paper.

 

2.3.3    The number of voting papers recorded for each unelected candidate according to Rule 2.3.1 shall be multiplied by the transfer value and in each case, the whole number remaining after any fraction in the result is discarded shall be credited to the unelected candidate and added to the value previously recorded for him.

 

2.3.4    If more than one candidate has a surplus, the surpluses shall be transferred in order of size, beginning with the largest, and, if two or more surpluses are equal, the Returning Officer shall decide by lot which surplus shall be transferred first.

 

 3.           Optional deferment of transfer of surplus

 

The transfer of a surplus may be deferred if that surplus, together with every other surplus not transferred, is less than the difference between the quota and the highest progress total of any unelected candidate and is also less than the difference between the lowest progress total and the progress total next above it.

 

 4.        Surpluses arising from transfer

4.1       If the progress total of a candidate is raised up to or above the quota by the transfer of a surplus, he shall be recorded as elected, and no other voting papers shall be allotted to him after this transfer is completed.

4.2       If the progress total of a candidate is raised up to but not above the quota by the transfer of a surplus, the whole of the voting papers allotted to him shall be set aside as finally dealt with.

4.3       If the progress total of a candidate is raised above the quota by the transfer of a surplus, then, except where Rule 3 is applied, his surplus shall be transferred to the unelected candidates in the following manner:

4.3.1    The voting papers allotted to the elected candidate in the last transfer shall be re-examined, and,  for each unelected candidate, the number of these voting papers on which he is indicated as  preferred to any other unelected candidate shall be counted and recorded. 

4.3.2    If the total value of the voting papers recorded according to Rule 4.3.1 is greater than the surplus, the surplus shall be divided by the number of these voting papers and the result shall be the transfer value, provided that if the values are being recorded in thousandths of a vote any fraction in the result may be discarded. But if the total value of these voting papers is less than or equal to the surplus, the transfer value shall be the value at which the voting papers were allotted to the elected candidate.

4.3.3    The number of voting papers recorded for each unelected candidate according to Rule 4.3.1 shall be multiplied by the transfer value and, in each case, the whole number remaining after any fraction in the result is discarded shall be credited to the unelected candidate and added to his progress total.

 4.3.4   If more than one candidate has a surplus, the surpluses shall be transferred in order of size, beginning with the largest, provided that no surplus shall be transferred before a surplus that arose earlier in the counting whether larger or not, and if two or more surpluses arising from the same transfer are equal, the surplus of the candidate whose progress total was highest when they last had unequal totals shall be transferred first, and if their progress totals were never unequal, the Returning Officer shall decide by lot which surplus is transferred first.

5.   Exclusion

5.1       If, after the transfer of all surpluses except any deferred according to Rule 3, any vacancies remain unfilled, the candidate whose progress total is lowest shall be excluded, and all voting papers allotted to him shall be distributed, each continuing unelected candidate being allotted those papers on which he is indicated as preferred to any other continuing candidate, and credited with their value.

 

5.2       The voting papers with first preference indicated for the excluded candidate shall first be allotted, each at its full value.

5.3       The other voting papers of the excluded candidate shall then be allotted in the order of the transfers in which, and with the values at which, they were allotted to him.

5.4       Each allotment of voting papers according to Rules 5.2 and 5.3 shall be regarded as a separate transfer in the application of Rule 6.1.

5.5       If it becomes necessary to exclude a candidate and two or more candidates have equal progress totals lower than any other progress total the one whose progress total was lowest when they last had unequal totals shall be excluded first, and if their progress totals were never unequal, the Returning Officer shall decide by lot which candidate shall be excluded first.


  6.    Surpluses arising from exclusion

 

6.1       If the progress total of a candidate is raised up to or above the quota by any transfer of the voting papers of an excluded candidate, he shall be recorded as elected, and no other voting papers shall be allotted to him after this transfer is completed.

6.2       If the progress total of a candidate is raised up to but not above the quota by any such transfer, the whole of the voting papers allotted to him shall be set aside as finally dealt with.

6.3       If the progress total of a candidate is raised above the quota by any such transfer, then, except where Rule 3 is applied, his surplus shall be transferred to the continuing candidates in the manner specified  in Rule 4.3, but this surplus shall not be transferred until all voting papers of the excluded candidate have been allotted.

6.4       Except where Rule 3 is applied, any such surplus shall be transferred before any other candidate is excluded.


  7.       Completion of counting

 

The process of excluding the candidate with the lowest progress total, and allotting his voting papers and crediting their value to continuing candidates shall be repeated, and any surplus, except where Rule 3 is applied, transferred, until all vacancies are filled or until the number remaining unfilled is equal to the number of continuing candidates, in which case these continuing candidates shall be recorded as elected.

 

* * * * * * * * *


            *  The PRSA's PR Manual recommends, for the purposes of Rule 1.3, that if the quota is less than 100 votes, the choice                         should be made to express the aggregate number of first preference votes as a number of thousandths of votes rather                         than as a number of whole votes, in order to avoid having an unnecessarily high quota.