Friday, May 05, 2023

Why my vote wasn't counted

I didn't vote yesterday, but that's because I registered for postal voting and had posted my ballot last week. As it turns out, the election in my ward was declared void when one of the candidates died. My condolences to his family.

I didn't hear the news until later, and I doubt that many did, so I don't know how much effect it would have had one voting. However, this does highlight some interesting things about voting.

First, discussions of contraction consistency sometimes consider the effect of one candidate withdrawing. It is sometimes assumed that if A wins a three-way contest between A, B, and C then A should also beat B (or C) in a two-way contest. But this is not the case in many voting systems.

Second, this case also highlights the fact that - in the UK - voters elect individuals, not parties. If the votes were cast for the Conservative Party, rather than for Mr Galton, then he could presumably be replaced with another party nominee. But the votes are for the individual. This is relevant when elected officials decide to change party. It is sometimes suggested that this ought to trigger a by-election, though this is not the case.

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