The STV Voting item in Wednesday 14 Sept 2016 issue of the Kapiti News is a tad misleading as it does not spell out all the options.

The key is that you don’t have to vote for all the candidates.

For example if there is only one budding mayor who pledges to keep rate increases at the rate of inflation, I will vote for that person and no others. If no budding mayors pledge to keep rates at no more than inflation I will very likely not vote for any of them.

How to vote using STV — voting is easy
Instead of ticking the candidates you want to vote for, with STV you number the candidates in order of preference. Put a “1” beside the candidate you like best, then a “2” beside your second choice, “3” by your third choice, and so on. You can vote for as many or as few candidates as you like.

So what does the numbering do?
By giving the number “1” to a candidate, you are saying that the candidate is your number one choice.

By ranking candidates in your preferred order – 1,2,3,4 and so on – you are also saying which other candidates you prefer: if your top choice doesn’t have enough support to get in or, if your top choice doesn’t need all the votes they received to be elected [this becomes relevant in a multi-member constituency like the Community Board].

What else do I need to know?
For your vote to be counted there just needs to be a single ‘1’. After that the numbers you use must be in sequence and there must be only one of each number. If you make a mistake, your vote will be valid up to when you made the error – for example, if you miss out a “4” and just rank 1, 2, 3 and 5, only your first three preferences will be valid.


Another questionable comment in that article was the assertion that “the winner in many cases is the person who attracted the most number 2 votes.”

This is only likely to be the decisive factor when there is a close result in first preferences between the two front runners.  In 2013, Quentin Poole in the Waikanae Ward got more first preferences than Tony Lloyd — 1530 to 1450.  In the final result, after counting others preferences, Tony Lloyd finished 4 votes ahead. [–Eds]