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How do we elect MLAs?

The people of Northern Ireland elect 90 MLAs to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

You have to be 18 to vote in an election. At election time, the map of Northern Ireland is divided into 18 areas. These areas are called constituencies. Each constituency elects five MLAs.

The method used to elect MLAs is called Single Transferable Vote, or STV. The STV system is easy for voters to use. Voters choose their preferred candidates by putting numbers beside their names on a ballot paper. They put 1 beside their favourite, 2 beside their second favourite and so on. The first five candidates to get a target number of votes are elected.

Watch the video for a simple explanation of how it all works.