Counting single transferable votes

The single transferable vote (STV) is a voting system based on proportional representation and ranked voting. Under STV, an elector's vote is initially allocated to his or her most-preferred candidate. After candidates have been either elected (winners) by reaching quota or eliminated (losers), surplus votes are transferred from winners to remaining candidates (hopefuls) according to the surplus ballots' ordered preferences.

The system minimizes "wasted" votes and allows for approximately proportional representation without the use of party lists. A variety of algorithms (methods) carry out these transfers.