Story Dated: Thursday, April 5, 2012 14:56 hrs IST
The election is held by secret ballot, in accordance with the system of proportional representation, in which population figures and the number of Assembly seats of states play a role in determining the value of each vote of the electoral college.
Value of votes
The Constitution prescribes a formula for determining the value of vote of an MLA: population figure of a state divided by thousand times the number of Assembly seats. Figures of the 1971 census are to be used for the purpose of calculation, until the first census taken after the year 2026 has been published. For example, in Goa's case, the population according to the 1971 census is 7,95,120. It has 40 legislators in the Assembly. So the value of vote of each MLA would be 7,95,120/(40x1,000), or 20.
To calculate the value of vote for each MP, the sum of the value of votes for all states is divided by 776, the number of elected MPs. In the 2007 presidential election, the sum of the value of votes for the state was 5,49,474. So the value of vote of an MP was: 5,49,474/776, or 708.
The voting is by means of the single transferable vote method. The ballot paper contains two columns with headings 'name of the candidate' and 'mark the order of preference'. A voter would put the figure 1 next to the name of his preferred candidate, and mark the subsequent preferences by putting figures 2, 3, 4 and so on.
Quota for election
The returning officer calculates the quota for winning the election by dividing the total number of valid votes by 2, and adding one to the quotient. For example, if there are 90,001 valid votes, the quota is (90,001/2) +1, or 45,001 (ignoring the decimal).
If no candidate gets the quota on the basis of first preference votes, a second round of counting is conducted after excluding the least preferred candidate. Votes are distributed to the remaining candidates according to the second preference. The returning officer would go on excluding candidates until the quota is met.