Definitions for "Single transferable vote"
Keywords:  voter, stv, quota, candidate, ballot
(STV) A voting procedure in which voters submit a preference raking over all the candidates. Any candidate that receives more than a certain number of first-place votes is elected. If the elected candidates receive more votes than necessary for election, their excess votes are distributed to the other candidates in accordance with the second-choice preferences of the voters. Once again, any candidate that receives more than a certain number of votes is elected and the redistribution procedure continues. If the redistribution procedures reaches a point where there are no more votes to be redistributed and there are still more elected positions to be filled, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and the votes for that candidate are redistributed.
A method of conducting elections which when only one seat is to be filled is similar to sequential run-off, but when several seats are to be filled can used as a proportional representation method. The method establishes a quota for election and transfers votes for candidates who exceeded this quota to other candidates. If seats are yet to be filled but no candidate has achieved a quota, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and these ballots are transferred to other lower ranked candidates of those voters. (The system was developed by Thomas Hare.)
This is the method now used by the RCN and most other comparable organisations to conduct elections. The method ensures that the successful candidates have the confidence of the majority, by letting members number the candidates in the order of their preference, instead of using X votes. If any candidate is the first choice of enough voters (a quota is calculated when the number of valid votes is known), she/he is elected. For subsequent places, or if no candidate achieves election on the basis of first preferences, each vote for the candidate with the fewest "1's" is transferred to whichever of the remaining candidates is marked as the next choice on each ballot paper - as if a second ballot were being held with the bottom candidate eliminated.