Personal tools
You are here: Home About Us Rules InternetNZ Elections

InternetNZ Elections

Rules governing InternetNZ Council elections.

InternetNZ operates what might be referred to as a "multiple-member majoritarian preferential voting" model, with a few minor variations.


Voters are presented with a voting paper listing all of the candidates. In casting their votes, they will have the opportunity to indicate preference by ranking the candidates from 1 (the highest vote, the most preferred candidate) down to the number that is the same number as the number of candidates.

Voters are not obliged to vote/rank all candidates. A voter could, if the candidate was not known, choose to not vote at all for that candidate.

Simple Counting: Two Candidates for a Single Position

When there are only two candidates for a single position, the description is easy: the voting system works as a `first past the post´ system, because the candidate with the majority of votes will have, for certain, more than half of the votes that were cast...

If, however, there are two candidates for a single position, and there is a tied vote, the decision will be made by random selection - effectively, the toss of a coin.

More Complex: More than Two Candidates for One Position, or More than Two or More Positions

For elections where there are more than two candidates, and potentially more than one position (such as for Council) the counting becomes more complex.  This where the true `preferential voting´ aspect comes into the counting.

The principle is that when a voter´s 1st preference for election is dropped from any counting, they should not be disenfranchised, but rather their next preference should replace the one that was dropped.

Before each round, a `threshold to be elected´ number is determined.  In each case it is the number of votes required to have a majority of the votes cast in that round.

The counting always relates to the number of 1st preference votes a candidate has.

The logic followed is:

  1. All 1st preference votes are counted for each candidate.
  2. A check is made to see if one or more candidates have successfully reached the required threshold to be elected.
  3. If there is a successful candidate (ie, one with a majority of the 1st preference votes being counted in the round), that candidate is permanently removed from the counting - recorded as having been elected.  If there are still positions to be filled, a new round is started, with all of the remaining (unelected candidates).
  4. If at the end of a round no candidate has reached the threshold, the lowest polling candidate is temporarily removed from the count. (If there are two tied for the lowest vote, it is done by a 'toss of the coin').  
  5. While there are still positions to fill, in each case all the candidates that were temporarily removed are brought back in to be included in the new rounds.

While a candidate must reach the threshold to be elected (have a majority of the 1st preference votes), that threshold will reduce for each subsequent set of voting rounds (as the votes for the winning candidate are removed before the next round).  In every case, however, a candidate must receive more than half of the 1st preference votes being cast in that round.

Document Actions