The Northern Territory is governed by one (unicameral) House of Parliament, the Legislative Assembly.
Elections for the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly are held every 4 years and are conducted by the Northern Territory Electoral Commission (NTEC).
The Northern Territory Electoral Act
outlines the processes for conducting an election for the Territory Parliament. Changes to the Act in 2009 specified a fixed election date, the fourth Saturday in August every four years.
Voting in the NT
Voting is compulsory in the Northern Territory (NT) at all levels of government. When, where and how to vote are advertised widely during each election period. Mobile voting teams provide access to voting services for people who would otherwise be unable to attend a voting centre because of hospitalisation, being in prison or an aged care facility or living in a remote community.
Photographs of candidates are included on NT ballot papers, making it easier for many voters to choose their preferred candidates. This is a unique feature within the Australian electoral system, and does not apply in federal elections.
Vote marking and counting
Legislative Assembly elections use Optional Preferential Voting (OPV). The voter must mark a number '1' on the ballot paper next to their most preferred candidate and can then choose whether or not to mark further preferences for some or all of the other candidates.
To be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of the total formal votes in the count (i.e. 50% + 1 vote)
The Northern Territory is divided into 25 divisions for Legislative Assembly elections. An electoral redistribution is conducted prior to each NTLA election by a process overseen by two independent committees.
A vacancy may occur due to the resignation or death of a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA).
If the number of candidates standing for an election is the same as the number of vacancies, the election is declared uncontested, no voting is required and the candidates are elected unopposed.