# [EM] Borda count in practice

Jurij Toplak jure.toplak at uni-mb.si
Sat Jan 5 10:32:17 PST 2002

```There was a discussion about Borda count here for the last few weeks. I
wander if anybody on the list actualy knows which countries use Borda system
in their national elections? I know that my country, Slovenia, uses it.

In Slovenian parliamentary elections two of the 90 members are elected in
single-member districts according to Borda system (the other 88 members are
elected with Droop and D'Hondt quota system). Law states that "A voter shall
vote by indicating his preferential order of candidates in front of the
names of the candidates, starting with number 1." (National Assembly
Election Act, Art. 74). "Points shall be assigned to candidates according to
orders of preference. For each first place the candidate shall receive as
many points as there were candidates on the ballot paper, and for each
successive place a point less. The points of each candidate shall be
totaled."(Art. 95).

Therefore, if a candidate on a 5-candidate ballot only votes for one
candidate, this candidate will receive 5 points and the others zero. This is
opposite to what Saari and the others here on the list are proposing.
However, there is no basis in the law to give to this candidate only one
point or to give the others "average" of 2.5 points. Law clearly sais "For
the first place the candidate shall receive as many points as there were
candidates on the ballot paper."
It is also impossible to call this ballot null since the law sais that "A
ballot paper shall be valid if it is clear which candidate he voted for."
(art. 76).

These districts are quite small - one has 2000 and the other 8000 voters.
This means that if a group of few hundred voters deliberately voted for only
one candidate this would make a big difference in result.

However, the law stating "for each successive place a point less" could also
be interpreted that the chosen candidate on a 5-candidate ballot would get 5
points and the others 4 points. But it is not interpreted this way I guess.

Does anybody know how do other countries that use Borda treat such ballots?

The election act of Slovenia is available at
http://www.sigov.si/elections/zvdz.html

Happy new year to everybody,

Jurij

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