Preferential Voting in Single Member Electorates - South Australia

Electoral Authority: Electoral Commission of South Australia
Parliament which uses Preferential Voting House of Assembly (Lower House)
Name of Preferential Voting system Full preferential
Formality/Informality points Formal

  • Consecutive numerical preferences are indicated against the names of all candidates commencing with the number "1".
  • A "" or a "" constitutes a "1" on the ballot paper.
  • If one square is left blank it is presumed that candidate is least preferred by the voter.
  • If the last number is not consecutive (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 19) it is presumed that the candidate against which that last number is marked is least preferred by the elector.
  • Numbers placed outside the square are acceptable if the voter's intention is clear.


  • The number "1", a or a or any combination of these appears in or against two or more candidates.
  • No vote marked on the ballot paper.
  • No first preference indicated.
  • A duplication of numbers or a break of consecutive numbering occurs or two or more preferences are omitted.
  • A ballot paper is not authenticated by the initials of the issuing officer or by an official mark.
  • A ballot paper not deposited in a ballot box.

NB: South Australian electoral legislation allows candidates to lodge one or two voting tickets. A voting ticket is a written statement of a particular order in which a voter might allocate preferences in an election and is used to interpret the votes of a voter who does not indicate an order of preference covering all candidates. A voting ticket can therefore render a vote formal that would otherwise be informal.

Directions on the Ballot Paper Number the squares from 1 to N in the order of your choice (where N equals the number of candidates).

You are not legally obliged to mark the ballot-paper.

After voting, fold the ballot paper and place it in the ballot box or declaration envelope.

(2010 House of Assembly ballot paper)
Casual Vacancies A by-election is held to fill a casual vacancy caused by the death, resignation or disqualification of a member or when an election to fill a vacancy is declared void by the Court of Disputed Returns. The Speaker of the House of Assembly must issue the writ for a by-election.

Related South Australian electoral information