Why is the voting system different between House of Representatives and the Senate?
Thank you for your question Susan.
You are right; the voting systems for the Senate and House of Representatives are quite different.
In the House of Representatives one candidate is elected from each electorate. The preferential voting system used in the House results in the election of the candidate supported by the majority of their electorate.
The proportional voting system used for the Senate enables multiple candidates to be elected at each election (6 from each state and 2 from the ACT and Northern Territory). Senators don’t need to be supported by the majority of voters in their state or territory; they need to receive a quota – a set percentage – of the votes in their state or territory. Proportional voting in the Senate has resulted in more independent and minor party senators being elected to the Senate than in the House.
People voting in Alice Springs.
Australian Electoral Commission
Three people complete their election ballots at voting booths.
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