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alternative vote (AV)
The alternative vote is a preferential electoral system (see preferential voting ) which requires a voter to number the names of the candidates on the ballot paper in the order of the voter’s preference (that is, to rank the candidates by putting 1, 2, 3, etc. next to their names). If no candidate gains a majority of votes on the first count, the second preference listed on the ballots of the least successful candidate are distributed among the remaining candidates. This process continues until one candidate has a majority of votes. The alternative vote system can be supplemented by electing additional members to provide an opportunity for the representation of small parties; see mixed systems .
British Columbia used the alternative vote to elect members to the legislative assembly at the 1952 and 1953 general elections.