The examination of ballot papers
Only valid votes may be included and influence the distribution of seats.
The County Administrative Board determines in accordance with the Elections Act which votes are valid and which are not, and counts the votes for each party. The same scrutiny has to be carried out with regard to candidates i.e. only valid preference votes are counted.
Valid ballot papers
A ballot paper is valid if it contains a party name. It can be a name ballot paper, a party ballot paper or a blank ballot paper on which the voter has written a party name.
Counting of valid preference votes
A valid preference vote can be a name ballot paper with one candidate marked or it can be a name that has been added by the voter to a ballot paper for a party that has not provided notification of its candidates. The ballot paper contains instructions for the voter on how to cast a preference vote.
A ballot paper is deemed invalid if:
- it has no party name on it
- it has more than one party name (for example if there are two or more ballot papers in the same envelope with different party names).
- it has clearly been marked on purpose.
Ballot papers that lack a party name are termed blank votes and these are the most common type of invalid votes. The number of blank votes is reported separately from the other invalid votes. Invalid ballot papers are not included in the distribution of seats.
All candidate names are disregarded
In certain cases the County Administrative Board will disregard all the names of candidates on a ballot paper, for example:
- the voter has marked two or more candidates (see picture below).
- the personal vote cross may have been made mechanically.
- if there are two or more ballot papers in the same envelope with the same party name but with differing lists of candidates or crosses for different candidates.
- a party ballot paper intended for another constituency/
municipalityor county council is used.
Example: The ballot paper is considered valid, however, and is evaluated as a party ballot paper.
Deleted names of candidates
Even if the name of a candidate has been deleted on a ballot paper the name is not disregarded. Deletion does not affect the order of the candidates on a ballot paper.
Example: The ballot paper is valid, but the deletion is disregarded. The ballot paper will be regarded as a name ballot paper with no preference vote.