Optional preferential voting

Optional preferential voting

In a local government election for a single member divided council, and when voting for the mayor in all councils, you have the choice to vote for one, some or all candidates on the ballot paper; this is optional preferential voting (OPV).

OPV is the voting system used in Queensland to elect:

  • Mayors in local government elections
  • Councillors in local governments where single-member wards or divisions exist (single-member divided councils).

Optional preferential voting

To cast a formal vote:

OPV requires an elector to mark the ballot paper to indicate their preference. Electors can choose to “vote for one, vote for some, or vote for all” candidates on the ballot paper.

Your preference order won't be automatically allocated; only you can decide where your preferences go. If the candidates you vote for are eliminated from the count, your vote will be exhausted.

Vote one

Vote for only one candidate by placing a one (1), tick or cross in the square opposite the name of your preferred candidate.

Vote for one

Vote for some or all

Vote for some or all by placing a one (1) in the box of your preferred candidate. You can then number some or all of remaining boxes in order of your preference according to the instructions on the ballot paper.

Vote for some or all

See our Multilingual Guide PDF (2.98 MB) for step-by-step voting instructions in 20 languages.

For information on the voting systems used for federal elections please visit the Australian Electoral Commission website.