STV is a proportional voting system used in parts of Australia, United States and Ireland. It is also sometimes used to elect board members to companies like Fonterra.
Instead of ticking the candidate you want, you rank candidates in order of preference – “1” beside your most preferred candidate, “2” beside the second-most preferred, and so on.
To be elected, a candidate must get a certain number of votes. This is known as the ‘quota’ and is worked out after voting has closed. The quota is calculated by dividing the total number of votes received by the number of vacancies, plus one vote.
To be elected, a candidate must get enough votes to reach the quota. If there is more than one vacancy, votes received over the quota are partially transferred to other candidates in order of voter preference. Those with fewest votes are eliminated and their votes are partially transferred to other candidates. This process repeats until enough candidates reach the quota and all vacancies are filled.