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Election by lot would seem to most people to be a relic of the Middle Ages, Yet. under the provisions of the Local Government Act (says an English contemporary), such as Guardian or District Councillor, should happen to get exactly the same number of votes, and if the Returning Officer refuse to give a casting vote, it is laid down that the election shall be settled by lot. This actually happened in 1911, when at Limerick, three candidates tied with 236 votes apiece for two seats on the Town Council.

There was another case at Barking. In one of the wards two men tied for the position of Urban Councillor. Since the returning officer declined to give a casting vote, the question was left to lot. Slips of paper were drawn from a hat by representatives of the Press, the unlucky candidate was one wlio had been a member of the old Council.

Representative peers for Ireland are elected by the votes of their own peers. In November, 1908, a new representative had to be elected in place of the late Lord Ross, and when the votes were counted it was found that Lord Ashton and Lord Farnham had received a precisely similar number of votes.

-The question between them was settled by the ancient ceremonial of drawing lots before the assembled peers, -the names were written on slips of paper of the same size and shape, and these were placed in a goblet shaped like a champagne glass which was laid on the table of the House of Lords.

The Clerk of Parliament, Sir Henry Graham, rose from his place, reached forward and drew out one slip. Unfolding it he read out the name of Lord Ashtown, who thus became a member of the House of Lords.

This method of choosing a candidate is actually laid down in the Act of Union.

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Bibliographic details

ELECTION BY LOT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919

Word Count

ELECTION BY LOT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919

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