An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums are run and how their results are decided. They are used in politics to elect national and local governments. Elections also happen in businesses, and other sorts of organisations. These rules usually govern voting, when elections happen, who can vote, who can be a candidate, how the votes are counted, how votes decide the election, limits on campaign spending, and other things that can affect the result.
There are many different electoral systems. Sometimes different systems are used in different sorts of elections in the same country.
Voters may vote directly for candidates or their votes may elect an electoral college where their representatives may run a further election. Areas may be divided into constituencies with one or more representatives in each. Voters may vote directly for individual candidates or for a list of candidates.
The most common systems are first-past-the-post voting, multiple non-transferable vote, the two-round (runoff) system, party-list proportional representation and ranked or preferential voting as used in single-winner Instant-runoff voting or multi-winner Single transferable voting.
Different voting systems may effect the results, and they may be changed to benefit those in power.
- "Electoral Systems —". aceproject.org. Retrieved 2023-04-11.