See Her Elected, the award-winning Government funded project which aims to encourage women from rural areas in the Midlands region to engage in local politics has launched a new video to help explain how the Proportional Representation Single Transferable Voting system works in Ireland.
The video was commissioned by See Her Elected as part of their voter education series and as a direct response to feedback raised by women throughout rural Ireland taking part in the online SHESchool training. Produced by the Donegal based DNK Media Productions company, the video explains how the PR-STV voting system works and it features Dr Michelle Maher, SHE Programme Manager, Olivia Bushell, Assistant Deputy Returning Officer and Cllr Hazel Smyth Cathaoirleach of the Mullingar-Kinnegad Municipal District in Westmeath.
See Her Elected created this video to explain the complex voting system in Ireland to local election candidates and their campaign teams, but also to highlight to voters the importance of using their vote to create county councils that look just like them.
“We run free online training and workshops for women all over rural Ireland as part of our SHESchool which aims to encourage more women to engage in local politics. Many women raised questions about the PR- STV voting system in Ireland and how exactly it worked in terms of preferences, transfers and how surpluses are distributed so we decided to make a video as part of our political education series to help explain how the system works.
“Transfers are key to winning an election particularly in local elections and it is not always as difficult as you may think to get elected as many candidates can be elected to a final seat on the ninth or tenth count with only a handful of votes separating them from their nearest rival and this video shows exactly how a count might progress.
“We want to see more diversity in our rural county council chambers. As it stands, there are very few women councillors and virtually no representation of minority communities. Our aim is to increase the numbers of women in local politics in rural counties where anything from 78% to 95% of the elected local authority councillors are men. We need our chambers to be more reflective of society and we need to see more women in politics in order to have more balanced decision making,” Dr Michelle Maher, Programme Manager with See Her Elected, asserted.
In recent months See Her Elected published ‘A Guide to Running in the 2024 Local Elections’ which is a user-friendly guide to running for election. The organisation was also crowned winners in the Democracy category of the Innovation in Politics Award by the EU in Brussels last December which was a first for Ireland.
The new video is currently available on all See Her Elected social media platforms and on the website www.seeherelected.ie/videos