Ballot paper

This image shows an example ballot paper for electing 5 members from a single district. The ballot paper requires voters to explicitly mark their preferences against candidate’s names. The ballot paper is acceptably small and manageable. Candidates are listed in columns corresponding to parties, to make them easy to identify.

Ballot paper Tasmania
Example ballot paper from Tasmania’s House of Assembly

A PRSA design element is that voters should explicitly mark their preference against the name of each candidate. In other words, above-the-line voting should not be used. The ballot paper shown above complies with this principle.

A PRSA design element is that voters should have the maximum opportunity to indicate their democratic preferences. In other words, ballot papers should support fully optional preferential voting. For example, the ballot paper shown above should be improved as follows:

  • Change “Number the boxes from 1 to 18 in order of your choice” to “Number the boxes in order of your choice“.
  • Change “Your vote will not count unless you number at least 5 boxes” to “Your vote will not count unless you number at least 1 box” (i.e. the ballot paper will be considered formal if the voter can only support one candidate).
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