The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 53
Casks of Equality
Casks of Equality.
No case of equality can occur in the proposed method except when all the candidates poll exactly the same number of votes on a scrutiny, for if less than the whole number of candidates have the same number of votes in any scrutiny, if that common number be not greater than the average, all the equal candidates are excluded. If it be greater, no one of them is excluded; and in either case we pass on to another scrutiny.
If on any scrutiny all the candidates poll exactly the same number of votes, that number, of course, must be the average, and it is necessary that some one should have a casting vote. If it is thought proper to do so, one casting vote can then be made to settle the election, by allowing the casting vote to decide who is to win. But if it is thought that this is giving too much weight to the casting vote, then we may permit the casting vote to decide who is to be excluded, and then proceed to a fresh scrutiny between the remaining candidates. It will be observed, however, that the chance of a casting vote being required at any scrutiny except the last, when only two candidates remain, is very minute, seeing that it depends upon all the candidates polling exactly the same number of votes on a scrutiny.