Voting and counting - how to guide

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Lyons Ward by-election


Voting is compulsory in NT Local Government (Council) elections. The voting system used is full preferential voting where you must mark a number '1' on the ballot paper next to your most preferred candidate, and the numbers '2', '3' and so on against all the other candidates on the ballot paper until all the boxes have been numbered in order of your choice.

More information:

PDF document iconBallot paper formality guide


Proportional Representation electoral system

The electoral system used in NT Local Government (Council) elections is the Proportional Representation electoral system; or PR for short.

Proportional Representation (PR) is the term which describes a group of electoral systems used for elections in multi-member electorates to elect candidates who receive a set proportion of the vote. In Australia, these systems are classified into two categories - List Systems and Single Transferable Vote (STV). In the Northern Territory the PR system used is the STV type.

Single transferable vote (STV)

Under STV, each vote can be transferred between candidates in the order of the voter's preferences. A candidate is elected when his or her total number of votes equals or exceeds the quota.

PDF document iconPR count system - simplified

PR count system - detailed

Determination of the quota and distribution of preferences takes place after the cut-off for the return of postal voting ballot papers.