Preferential Voting

Sample ballot:
Preferential

Preferential Voting (also known as instant runoff voting) is a type of election where voters rank the candidates in order of preference, with "1" being the highest (most preferred) ranking. The first preference on each ballot counts as a vote for that particular candidate, and the votes are tallied. If no candidate receives a majority (greater than 50% of the total valid ballots), the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated and the ballots for that candidate are redistributed to each ballot's second preference. The process continues until a majority is reached by one of the candidates. The Wikipedia article on Instant Runoff Voting is a good reference.

Preferential Balloting Flow Chart

To be considered a valid ballot, the submitted ballot must satisfy the following conditions: