A tally is an unofficial private observation of an election count carried out under Proportional Representation using the Single Transferable Vote. Tallymen, appointed by political candidates and parties, observe the opening of ballot boxes and watch as the individual ballot papers are counted. Individual tallymen may be placed to observe the opening of each box and watch as separate bundles of ballot papers are sorted and counted, they record their estimation of counts by marking votes for each candidate on their'tally sheet' as a tick which are assembled together to produce a full prediction of what the outcome of the result will be. Many political parties, having been rival during elections, co-operate in producing a tally. Tally results are released to the media before a formal account may have begun, allowing predictions as to how some, or in most cases all, the seats in multi-member constituencies, may go hours in advance of the official count, by noting how many number 1s a candidate may get, who gets their number 2s, whether voters vote for one party or spread their first, third, fourth etc. preferences randomly, by party, by alphabet, by local area, or by some other criteria.
In the Republic of Ireland, a national prediction of an election outcome may be made on RTÉ by lunchtime on count day, before a single seat has been filled. Tally results are used after the elections by political parties to work out, on the basis of from which ballot box the tally came, how many votes they picked in a particular area, or a particular street; the planned introduction in the Republic of Ireland of electronic voting for the 2004 local elections was expected to lead to the demise of the tally system, widespread criticism of the electronic voting programme has meant that a hand-count remains in operation in Ireland. Tally predictions and long complex counts have given election outcomes on television and radio much of their appeal, making election results coverage, which may last from 15 hours to days, depending on the closeness of an election, producing a form of spectator sport watched by vast viewerships. For a sort of variation on writing numbers in the unary numeral system, see Tally mark.
In poorer parts of England, the tallyman was the hire purchase collector, who visited each week to collect the payments for goods purchased on the never never, or hire purchase. These people still had such employ up until the 1960s. Another possible definition is a person who called to do a head count on behalf of either the town council or the house owners; this is rumoured to have occurred in Liverpool, in the years after the First World War
In elections in the United States, a provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a given voter's eligibility that must be resolved before the vote can count. The federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 guarantees that, in most states, the voter can cast a provisional ballot if the voter states that he or she is entitled to vote; some of the most common reasons to cast a provisional ballot include: The voter's name does not appear on the electoral roll for the given precinct, because the voter is not registered to vote or is registered to vote elsewhere The voter's eligibility cannot be established or has been challenged The voter lacks a photo identification document The voter requested to vote by absentee ballot but claims to have not received, or not cast, the absentee ballot The voter's registration contains inaccurate or outdated information such as the wrong address or a misspelled name In a closed primary, the voter's party registration is listed incorrectlyWhether a provisional ballot is counted is contingent upon the verification of that voter's eligibility, which may involve local election officials reviewing government records or asking the voter for more information, such as a photo identification not presented at the polling place or proof of residence.
Each state may set its own timing rules for. Provisional ballots therefore cannot be counted until after the day of the election; the right of political parties to have observers at polling places is long-standing. One of the established roles for such observers is to act as challengers, in the event that someone attempts to vote at the polling place, not eligible to vote. Before the implementation of provisional ballots, some state laws allowed a voter whose eligibility was challenged to cast a challenged ballot. After the polls closed, the canvassing board was charged with examining the challenged ballots and determining whether the challenge was to be upheld or not; the Help America Vote Act brings a degree of uniformity to the array of various challenged ballot rules enacted by various states. For example, each state must provide a means for the voter to find out whether his or her ballot was counted, though the states may use different ways of doing so. Though the Act mandates the use of provisional ballots nationwide, it exempted the six states, exempted from the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 because those states had and continue to have either "same-day" voter registration or no registration requirement at all: Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wyoming.
However, those states may choose to use provisional ballots. As of 2015, North Dakota and Wyoming used them for some purposes, while the other three did not have provisional ballots at all. In the 2018 midterm elections, both valid and invalid provisional ballots were mixed together in Florida after the initial vote count, which provided no way to be separated for the recount. Computer scientist and election official Douglas W. Jones has criticized the offer of a provisional ballot as "a way to brush off troublesome voters by letting them think they have voted." He expressed the concern that, under some states' laws, casting a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct would disenfranchise voters who could have cast valid ballots had they been redirected to the proper precinct. According to the Election Assistance Commission thousands of provisional ballots are not counted each election; the 2004 US Presidential Election was the first presidential election conducted under the Help America Vote Act's provisions.
Nationwide, at least 1.9 million provisional ballots were cast, 676,000 were never counted due to various states' rules on counting provisional ballots. Studies of the use of provisional ballots in the 2006 general election in the United States show that around 21% of provisional ballots were rejected. About 44% of these were cast by voters who were not registered, but many other rejections were for reasons that were "preventable," such as an incorrect precinct or missing signature; the rates of rejection vary across the states, with some states counting all or nearly all provisional ballots while others reject more than half. "Provisional ballots could decide election" "KERRY WON OHIO - JUST COUNT THE BALLOTS AT THE BACK OF THE BUS" "20 Crucial Electoral Votes May Be Stuck in Limbo"
An electoral district, election district, or legislative district, called a voting district by the US Census is a territorial subdivision for electing members to a legislative body. Only voters who reside within the district are permitted to vote in an election held there. From a single district, a single member or multiple members might be chosen. Members might be chosen by a first-past-the-post system or a proportional representative system, or another voting method entirely. Members might be chosen through a direct election under universal suffrage, an indirect election, or another form of suffrage; the names for electoral districts vary across countries and for the office being elected. The term constituency is used to refer to an electoral district in British English, but it can refer to the body of eligible voters or all the residents of the represented area or only those who voted for a certain candidate; the terms precinct and election district are more common in American English. In Australia and New Zealand, electoral districts are called electorates, however elsewhere the term electorate refers to the body of voters.
In India electoral districts are referred to as "Nirvachan Kshetra" in Hindi, which can be translated to English as "electoral area" though the official English translation for the term is "constituency". The term "Nirvachan Kshetra" is used while referring to an electoral district in general irrespective of the legislature; when referring to a particular legislatorial constituency, it is referred to as "Kshetra" along with the name of the legislature, in Hindi. Electoral districts for municipal or other local bodies are called "wards". In Canada, districts are colloquially called ridings. Local electoral districts are sometimes called wards, a term which designates administrative subdivisions of a municipality. In local government in the Republic of Ireland voting districts are called "electoral areas". District magnitude is the number of representatives elected from a given district to the same legislative body. A single-member district has one representative. Voting systems that seek proportional representation inherently require multi-member districts, the larger the district magnitude the more proportional a system will tend to be Non-proportional systems may use multi-member districts, as in the House of Commons until 1950, Singapore's Group Representation Constituency, or the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Under proportional representation systems, district magnitude is an important determinant of the makeup of the elected body. With a larger number of winners, candidates are able to represent proportionately smaller minorities; the geographic distribution of minorities affects their representation - an unpopular nationwide minority can still secure a seat if they are concentrated in a particular district. District magnitude can sometimes vary within the same system during an election. In the Republic of Ireland, for instance, national elections to Dáil Éireann are held using a combination of 3, 4, 5 member districts. In Hong Kong, the magnitude ranged from 3 to 5 in 1998, when the current electoral system was introduced for Legislative Council geographical constituency elections, will range from 5 to 9 in the forthcoming election in September 2012; the only democracies with one single nationwide electoral district and no other territorial correctors are Fiji, The Netherlands, Mozambique, South Africa and Serbia.
Main articles: Apportionment and RedistrictingApportionment is the process of allocating a number of representatives to different regions, such as states or provinces. Apportionment changes are accompanied by redistricting, the redrawing of electoral district boundaries to accommodate the new number of representatives; this redrawing is necessary under single-member district systems, as each new representative requires their own district. Multi-member systems, vary depending on other rules. Ireland, for example, redraws its electoral districts after every census while Belgium uses its existing administrative boundaries for electoral districts and instead modifies the number of representatives allotted to each. Israel and the Netherlands avoid the need for apportionment by electing legislators at-large. Apportionment is done on the basis of population. Seats in the United States House of Representatives, for instance, are reapportioned to individual states every 10 years following a census, with some states that have grown in population gaining seats.
By contrast, seats in the Cantonal Council of Zürich are reapportioned in every election based on the number of votes cast in each district, only made possible by use of multi-member districts, the House of Peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by contrast, is apportioned without regard to population. Malapportionment occurs when voters are under- or over-represented due to variation in district population. Given the complexity of this process, softwa
Abstention is a term in election procedure for when a participant in a vote either does not go to vote or, in parliamentary procedure, is present during the vote, but does not cast a ballot. Abstention must be contrasted with "blank vote", in which a voter casts a ballot willfully made invalid by marking it wrongly or by not marking anything at all. A "blank voter" has voted, although their vote may be considered a spoilt vote, depending on each legislation, while an abstaining voter hasn't voted. Both forms may or may not, depending on the circumstances, be considered to be a protest vote. An abstention may be used to indicate the voting individual's ambivalence about the measure, or mild disapproval that does not rise to the level of active opposition. Abstention can be used when someone has a certain position about an issue, but since the popular sentiment supports the opposite, it might not be politically expedient to vote according to his or her conscience. A person may abstain when they do not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand, or has not participated in relevant discussion.
In parliamentary procedure, a member may be required to abstain in the case of a real or perceived conflict of interest. Abstentions do not count in tallying the vote positively. White votes, may be counted in the total of votes, depending on the legislation. An active abstention can occur where a voter votes in a way that balances out their vote as if they had never voted; this has occurred many times in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. During a division, a Member of Parliament may abstain by voting both "yes" and "no"; this is the same as not voting at all, as the outcome will not be changed by the active abstention. However, in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, active abstention is not possible as a Lord voting both ways will be removed from the list of votes. In another manner, an intentionally spoilt vote could be interpreted as an active abstention. An intentionally spoilt vote is caused by a voter who turns to an election and invalidates the ballot paper in some way; because of the nature of an abstention, only intentionally spoiled ballots could be counted as an active abstention.
In the United Nations Security Council, representatives of the five countries holding a veto power sometimes abstain rather than vetoing a measure about which they are less than enthusiastic if the measure otherwise has broad support. By convention, their abstention does not block the measure, despite the wording of Article 27.3 of the United Nations Charter. If a majority of members of the United Nations General Assembly or one of its committees abstain on a measure the measure fails. In the Council of the European Union, an abstention on a matter decided by unanimity has the effect of a yes vote. In the United States House of Representatives and many other legislatures, members may vote "present" rather than for or against a bill or resolution, which has the effect of an abstention. In the United States Senate, the Presiding Officer calls each Senator's name alphabetically, and, if abstaining, the Senator must give a reason for the abstention. Members may decline to vote, in committee or on the floor, on any matter which he or she believes would be a conflict of interest.
There have been a number of instances around the world where popular movements have boycotted elections. In South Africa, there is a strong presence of abstention campaigns that make the structural argument that no political party represents the poor; the "No Land! No House! No Vote!" Campaign, started by the Landless Peoples Movement in 2004, is the largest of such campaigns. These campaigns have been met with significant repression. In 1999, a human rights activist was convicted in Belarus for calling not to participate in the local elections he considered to be undemocratic. In 2004 the United Nations Human Rights Committee found the conviction to violate freedom of expression. Other social movements and civil society organisations in other parts of the world have similar campaigns or non-voting preferences; these include the Naxalites in India, the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico and various anarchist and left communist oriented movements. In Mexico's mid term 2009 elections there was strong support for'Nulo'—a campaign to vote for no one.
In India, poor peoples movements in Singur and Lalgarh have rejected parliamentary politics. There have been no vote campaigns in Canada and Spain. In September 2011, the New York Times argued that there was a growing "scorn for voting" around the world. In support for this non-political strategy, some non-voters claim that voting does not make any positive difference. "If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal," is an oft-cited sentiment attributed to anarchist Emma Goldman. In addition to strategic non-voters, there are ethical non-voters, those who reject voting outright, not as an ineffective tactic for change, but moreover because they view the act as either a grant of consent to be governed by the state, a means of imposing illegitimate control over one's countrymen, or both. Thus, this view holds that through voting, one finds themselves violating the non-aggression principle. Herbert Spencer noted that whether a person votes for the winning candidate, votes for a losing candidate, or abstains f