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Ballot paper examples for a PR-STV poll

(Proportional Representation using the Single Transferable Vote)


Recommendations for the design of PR-STV ballot papers are listed below. The specimen ballot papers shown can be downloaded and edited to suit the particular election involved. A similar format is appropriate for a single-vacancy transferable vote election. Prescribed PRSA Excel spreadsheets that apply for PRSAV-T Inc's Type 3 Vote-counting Service can be downloaded for completion and emailing to


See different rules about what will constitute a valid (formal) ballot and suitable ballot paper formats:


  • Fully optional preferential rule for a valid ballot paper
    (The minimum number of preferences required to be marked is a single, unique first preference, which the PRSA recommends, but the instructions should encourage voters to mark as many preferences as they meaningfully can.)

  • Partial optional preferential rule for a valid ballot paper
    (Usually, the minimum number of consecutive unique preferences required to be marked for a valid vote - particularly for public polls subject to specific laws - is a number equal to the number of positions to be filled.)

  • Full marking of all but the last preference rule for a valid ballot-paper
    (This validity rule unfortunately can result in an excessively large number of invalid votes if there is a large number of candidates, as many voters make small mistakes in numbering, or fail to - or do not want to - number all preferences with consecutive unique numbers, possibly because it is too arduous or tedious, or they have no knowledge of the more obscure candidates. A single unmarked preference is deemed to be the last preference in the counting.)


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