Weighted voting can exist in a policy or law making body in which each representative has a variable voting power (weighted vote) as determined by the number principals who have made that person their proxy, or the population or the electorate they serve.
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By contrast weighted preference/preferential voting typically amasses a qualitative verdict of the voters. Within this form of ranked voting, a few advanced proportional voting methods ask each voter to grade the suitability for office of as many candidates as they wish. For example, the merit of each candidate to be graded Excellent, Very Good, Good, Acceptable, Poor, or Reject (and where all these grade count, assigned values such as 5 to 0). Under this, each member can by chosen by and/or could exercise a different weighted vote. In this way, each and every voting citizen is represented proportionately. No citizen's vote is "wasted".
A third definition is weighted bias voting. This exists in an electoral system in which not all the votes inherently vary in strength depending on the voter. Some voters, perhaps based on expertise, are given more weight than others. This is directly analogous to some preference shares. Listing Rules, the risk of a derivative suit, and of misrepresentation action may impose a cap on any enhanced voting rights attached, or to be attached, to preference shares. In the same way the existence of Unreformed House of Commons franchise-appointing small municipal corporations, was among injustices partly addressed by the Reform Act 1832 (widely known as the First Great Reform Act) in the United Kingdom. Being in the financial pocket of a sponsor, these were rebuked as pocket boroughs.
The first definition, the delegate, elector or representative weighted voting definition is common at highest levels of governance and decision-making. This type of feature of an electoral system is used in many companies' shareholder meetings. As is the third, in companies, which is called a poll – votes are weighted by the shares that each shareholder owns. Such a poll can be demanded unless a unanimous show of hands exists by an adequate quorum; however both principles are defined by company law norms and can be broken by a company's rules, if to do so is legally compliant to its country of registration (ideally being its shareholder dispute jurisdiction). Other examples of the first form, weighted voting, are the United States Electoral College and the European council, where the number of votes of each member state is proportional to the state's population or voting-age electorate.