Preferential voting is a system that requires a voter to indicate their order of preference for candidates or parties on each of their ballot papers. In simple terms – voters can ask themselves who they most and least want in Parliament representing them.
Votes are transferred, if needed, according to the preferences marked on the ballot paper. The count always follows the numbers and the power is always with the voter.
For the House of Representatives, when votes are transferred it is at their full value – this means you cannot ‘waste your vote’. If a voter’s first preference doesn’t get enough votes to be one of the top two candidates their vote transfers at full value until it is counted towards that final decision.
For the Senate, there are no ‘preference tickets’. Voters and voters alone control where their preferences go.