Vote marking and counting at Local Government elections

To vote in local government elections, a voter is required to write the number '1' in the box next to the candidate who is their first choice, and the numbers '2', '3' and so on against all the other candidates until all the boxes have been numbered, in order of the voter's preference.

Proportional Representation System

The vote counting system for local government elections in the NT is the Single Transferable Vote Proportional Representation (STVPR) or PR for short.

For explanations of the PR vote counting system used in NT council elections, see the following information sheets:

  • Proportional representation (PR) in Local Government (Council) elections- simplified

  • Proportional representation (PR) in NT Local Government (Council) elections - detailed

    Vote counting

    Immediately after the close of voting (6:00 pm) on election day, there is:

    • a count of 1st preference votes at each voting centre, and
    • a count of 1st preference votes for early and postal votes at the local office of the Commissioner.

    Scrutinies after election night

    A recheck of votes from voting centres is undertaken during the week after election day, followed by a count of declaration, absent and further postal votes.

    Electors voting by post have until 12:00 noon, six days after election day to return their postal voting papers.  Preferences are not usually distributed before the cut off for the return of postal voting papers.

    Determination of the quota and distribution of preferences takes place after the cut off for the return of postal voting papers.

    Distribution of preferences

    Count order

    The count of ballot papers for an election for principal member (mayor/president) is conducted first, the result determined and then those ballot papers are set aside before the count of ballot papers for an election for ordinary members.

    Candidates standing for principal member AND ordinary member

    If a candidate stands for both a principal member and ordinary member vacancy and is elected to the position of principal member, that candidate is then excluded from the count for ordinary member.  His/her ballot papers are distributed to the next available candidate according to the preferences marked by the voter.


    At any time before the result of the election is declared, a candidate may ask the Commissioner for a recount to be conducted.  The initiating candidate must state the reasons for the request, which may not necessarily be met.

    The Commissioner may also initiate a recount.