Proportional Representation - NSW Legislative Council

NSW Legislative Council
Name of proportional representation system Optional preferential proportional representation
Ballot Paper Ticket Voting Above or beside the line voting Voters may vote above the line (ATL) OR below the line (BTL).
Rotation of candidate names No. Order of names in each group determined by the party or group. Order of groups and ungrouped candidates on ballot paper determined by random draw.
Directions You may vote in one of two ways:
If voting Above the Line (ATL),
  • Place the number 1 in the square above the group of candidates for whom you desire to vote. You may if you wish vote for additional groups of candidates by placing consecutive numbers beginning with the number 2 in the squares above the additional groups of candidates in order of your preferences for them; or
If voting Below the Line (BTL),
  • Place numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 in the squares opposite the names of 15 candidates in order of your preference for them. You may if you wish, vote for additional candidates by placing consecutive numbers beginning with the number 16 in the squares opposite the names of those additional candidates in the order of your preference for them.
Formality A vote Above the Line (ATL) is informal if:
  • There is no first preference (a number "1") shown
  • There is more than one number "1" shown.
NOTE: a single tick or single cross in a square above the line is accepted as a first preference vote.
A vote Below the Line (BTL) is informal if:
  • There is no first preference (a number "1") shown
  • There are not at least 15 numbers in squares
  • There is more than one number "1" shown.
NOTE: ticks and crosses below the line are NOT accepted as preferences.
Where the elector has recorded a formal vote both above and below the line, the below the line (BTL) vote takes precedence.
Distribution of a Surplus Method of distribution of surplus votes and calculation for new transfer value Once a candidate is elected their ballot papers are distributed to remaining candidates according to the next preference. A transfer value is then calculated to determine how many actual ballot papers are retained by the continuing candidates.
transfer value equals numberof surplus votes divided by (number of ballot papers to be distributed minus exhausted votes)
The transfer value will almost invariably be less than 1. The number of ballot papers that have been distributed to each continuing candidate is multiplied by the transfer value. The result is the number of ballot papers retained by that continuing candidate. That number of ballot papers are selected at random and given to the continuing candidate. The remaining ballot papers are set aside as the elected candidate's quota.
Election of a candidate Exclusion of candidates Ballot papers passed on to continuing candidates from excluded candidates are always transferred at full value i.e. value of 1.
Exclusion of the lowest candidate when two or more are equal Exclude the candidate drawn by lot.
Casual Vacancies How is a casual vacancy filled? The new member is elected at a joint sitting of Upper and Lower Houses. Generally nominations are limited to the party for which the member vacating the seat was elected.

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