How to vote using STV   How candidates are elected    How votes are counted
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How votes are counted

This diagram gives an at-a-glance view of how votes are counted under STV.

It's a job for a computer

Votes are counted using specially developed computer software - the formulae involved are too complex for counting to be done by hand.

The computer program:

  • Works out the quota needed by each candidate to be elected
  • Keeps track of the preferences each candidate receives including transfers between candidates
  • Calculates the result.

The step by step counting process is explained here.

The Department of Internal Affairs developed the program (called the STV calculator). It has been independently audited and certified, as required by law. The software is very sophisticated and provides very detailed results.