Press coverage of this week’s voting in Egypt has tended to refer to the events as the “second round” of voting.
This is misleading. The term to use when a country (or other jurisdiction) sees some districts vote on one date and others vote on a later date should be “stage” not “round”. The use of “stage” is standard in India, a country where both the federal and state electoral processes take place in different clusters of districts on different dates.
The terminology being widely used for Egypt is all the more confusing when each stage has two rounds! Many districts in Egypt will not have a winner in the initial count of votes, due to rules requiring a majority. There must be a runoff in such districts. This is the true meaning of “second round”.
One might expect that Indian journalists would get this right, but I heard the Indian co-host of BBC’s World Briefing the other day refer to “the second round of voting in Egypt”, notwithstanding that she was actually referring to the first round of the second stage. Soon we will have the second round of the second stage, to be followed by the first round of the third stage…
Really, is this so difficult to get straight?