Positional voting is a ranked voting electoral system in which the options or candidates receive points based on their rank position on each ballot and the one with the most points overall wins. The lower-ranked preference in any adjacent pair is generally of less value than the higher-ranked one. Although it may sometimes be weighted the same, it is never worth more. A valid progression of points or weightings may be chosen at will (Eurovision Song Contest) or it may form a mathematical sequence such as an arithmetic progression (Borda count), a geometric one (positional number system) or a harmonic one (Nauru/Dowdall method). The set of weightings employed in an election heavily influences the rank ordering of the candidates. The steeper the initial decline in preference values with descending rank, the more polarised and less consensual the positional voting system becomes.
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Positional voting should be distinguished from score voting: in the former, the score that each voter gives to each candidate is uniquely determined by the candidate's rank; in the latter, the each voter is free to give any score to any candidate.