I am a Dublin voter!

I almost missed the deadline to apply for the Register of Electors for Friday’s election. You can imagine my delight when I found my reminder card in the mail last week. It said that I should vote at the primary school on Lower Baggot Street.

Polling Place, Lower Baggot entranceWith a firm sense of civic duty, I walked the short distance to my polling place on Friday morning. I followed a few of my fellow walking voters down the lane to the rear of the school. So far, it looked quite similar to polling places in Illinois.

I don’t know if there are state or city regulations prohibiting posters and electioneering close to the polling place; the location was deep on private property, so there wasn’t an opportunity for the parties to hang signs.

I entered the small gym to find a familiar system: two bored teenagers behind a table labeled with my district’s number, and an older man behind a second table for a different district. The young men were solicitous and quickly found my name on the Supplemental Register. I received one ballot, for the city councillors of Dublin. (Alas, only citizens of the EU could vote for Ireland’s Members of the European Parliament.)

Ireland uses proportional representation for almost all elections; techincally, I voted in a single transferable vote system. That means that my ballot consisted of a list of all the candidates for the office, and I could number them in my order of preference. On this ballot, each candidate’s box included the candidate’s party’s logo, area of residence, occupation and other professional information — but no face-photo, to my surprise!

Polling place

I chose to rank my four preferred candidates, numbering them from 1 to 4 and leaving the rest blank. Ireland uses a secret ballot, so I folded my sheet in half and dropped it in an old-fashioned ballot box. The teenagers bade me farewell, and I was done!

Ballot-counting takes a little longer with proportional representation, but not by much in the digital age. The results were final in most areas by Saturday afternoon. As expected, the political establishment was thoroughly shaken, including the Dublin City Council.

Finally, what you’ve been waiting for — the final set of Face-Poster Trading Cards!

3 Comments to “I am a Dublin voter!”

  1. Anita said...
    8 June 2009

    Yeah! The Rock made it – I was hopeful I would get one of those.

  2. Dave said...
    8 June 2009

    Thanks for the info on the STV system. I as wondering what the “Vote No 1” on each sign meant. I was confused whether it was like a proposition or something else.

  3. Will said...
    8 June 2009

    Dave, your comment helped clarify things for other readers, too. If we still did awards for commenters, I’d give you one on the spot.