InternetNZ Electoral System (explanation)

Rules governing InternetNZ Council elections

InternetNZ operates what might be referred to as a "multiple-member majoritarian preferential voting" model, with a few minor variations.



Voters are presented with a voting paper listing all of the candidates, presented in alphabetical order by last name. In casting their votes, the voter will have the opportunity to indicate preference by ranking the candidates from 1 (the highest vote, the most preferred candidate) down to the number that is the same number as the number of candidates.

Voters are not obliged to vote/rank all candidates. A voter could, if the candidate was not known, choose to not vote at all for that candidate.


How the voting works

Two Candidates for a Single Position:

  • Voter ranks the candidates in order of preference.
  • Votes are distributed to the candidates according to their first choices until one has a majority of votes.
  • Voting system works as a “first past the post” system – i.e. candidate with majority of votes will have more than half of the votes that were cast.
  • If, however, there is a tied vote, the decision will be made by random selection – effectively the toss of a coin.


More than Two Candidates for One Position / or More than Two or More Positions:

  • Before each round a “threshold to be elected” number is determined (i.e. the number of votes required to have a majority votes)
  • Voter ranks the candidates in order of preference.
  • Votes are distributed to the candidates according to their first choices until one has a majority of votes.
  • Counting always relates to the number of first preference votes a candidate has.
  • If no candidate has a majority of the votes, then the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated and those votes go to the second choices as marked on the ballot paper
  • If there are still positions to be filled, another round of counting takes place with only those (unelected) candidates remaining.
  • Each new series of rounds brings back the votes for all the candidates that were temporarily removed in the previous series of rounds. That is, the preferences for each voter are again examined, and only those of already elected candidates are removed from the order of preference. If the voter’s first, second and third preference candidates have already been elected; their fourth preference will become their current first preference.
  • If a candidate stands for either an Officer role as well as a Council role and is successful, any votes for that candidate in the Council election will be assigned to the voter's new preference candidate.


For easy reference, see Flowchart below:

INZ Election - Flowchart



1.    Within seven days of a vacancy occurring on InternetNZ Council, the Returning Officer shall open nominations for candidates to fill the vacancy. The declaration will be made to the mandatory Members-Announce mailing list using the reserved subject line "CALL FOR NOMINATIONS". The declaration must state the following detail:

a.    Positions to be filled

b.    Number of vacancies

c.    Opening and closing times and dates of the nomination period

d.    Date of opening and closing of voting

2.    The nomination period shall be for a minimum of seven and a maximum of fourteen days.

3.    A reminder notice that nominations for candidates are open may be sent to the same mailing list by the Returning Officer after the mid-point of the nomination period.

4.    Members of the Society may forward nominations directly to the Returning Officer of InternetNZ during the nomination period using the reserved subject line "NOMINATION".

5.    At the close of the nomination period the Returning Officer will send a note to the Members-Announce mailing list declaring the nomination period closed and will include a provisional list of the names of persons nominated for election.

6.    Following close of the nomination period there will be a period of three to five days before the election period will open. This period will be used to

a.    satisfy the Society that the candidates have fulfilled the necessary requirements to stand for election

b.    permit all nominated persons to formally accept nomination by e-mail to the Returning Officer. N.B. acceptances are NOT required to be made within the nomination period, only prior to the opening of voting 

c.    permit the candidates to forward any pictures, biographies and election statements to the Society's office for inclusion on the InternetNZ web site, and

d.    permit the technical requirements for the voting page to be completed.

7.    The voting period shall be for a minimum of five and a maximum of ten days.

8.    The voting period will open at the appointed time and the Members will be notified by posting a declaration to the registered e-mail address of each financial Member using the reserved subject line "ELECTION VOTING OPENS". The declaration will contain the following detail

a.    The opening and closing times and dates of the voting period

b.    The reason for the vote

c.    the URL to the candidates’ information page and may also contain a list of the candidates standing for election in descending alphabetical order, (Section 2 para 10)

d.    The URL of the InternetNZ voting page

e.    The username and password of the individual Member for that election.

9.    The voting page on the InternetNZ web site will be de-activated at the close of the election period.

10.  Once the results of the election are known the Returning Officer will post a declaration to the Members-Announce mailing list, using the reserved subject line "ELECTION RESULTS", giving the results of the election and giving the closing of the term of office of each successful candidate.

11.  In the event that there is only one nomination received during a nomination period

a.    the candidate shall be declared as elected unopposed

b.    the candidate will be placed in the top position of multi- vacancies as noted in Section 2 paras 3, 4 and 9.

12.  If insufficient candidates are nominated for the number of vacancies to be filled all procedures will be carried out and a second complete round of elections will be undertaken following the same procedures set out here within seven days of the close of voting.

13.  In the event that no nominations are received during the normal nomination period the election will be declared void and a new set of election procedures will be started within seven days of such a declaration. This cycle may be used twice sequentially. Following two such declarations any open vacancies will normally remain unfilled until the next AGM of InternetNZ when such vacancies will be added to the pool of vacancies to be filled by election as laid out in the Constitution of InternetNZ.

14.  If, after following the procedures in Section 3 para 10, OR the remaining term of office is less than 90 days, and the vacancy is that of an Officer the Council may designate a Councillor to be acting Officer for the remaining term of office of the vacancy.

15.  Any Councillor, designated by Council as acting Officer under the procedures in Section 3 para 11, will not be required to forfeit any remaining normal term of office in their capacity as a Councillor once their term as acting Officer is complete.