Optional preferential voting – make it meaningful

Why the need for any artificial ‘minimum’ to be voted for? Say 6, or 20, or ‘the number to be elected’?

What’s wrong with voting for at least one, or for as many as you choose to?

Under PR – or STV – as we prefer to call it – a voter has a single transferable vote.

A single vote means one vote. You vote for your chosen representative – one person.

Your vote is transferable. If the person you have chosen is not elected, your vote can be transferred to another candidate of your choice – your second preference. And so on, until your vote elects someone.

Saying that you must vote for ‘as many as are to be elected’ means to some people that they have more than one vote: that they themselves are actually electing six people. It is misleading and unnecessary.

The issue of exhausted votes is always raised.

It is a furphy.

Sure, there may be an increase in the number of exhausted votes, but there will be a larger corresponding decrease in the informal vote, which means a higher overall participation rate in the election.

A single [1], or even a single tick or cross that is unambiguous, should be a formal vote. It’s easy, inclusive and, dare I say it, democratic. The icing on the cake is that you can still indicate who you would prefer if your favourite is not elected.

Voting should be simple. It’s a matter of choice. Making that choice can be hard, so why make the expression of that choice even harder?