Your guide to preferential voting in the Queensland election on October...

You will hear a lot about preferences during the Queensland campaign.

In Queensland, you must number every box on the ballot for your vote to count – a change that first took effect in the last state election in 2017.

Let’s say you vote with five candidates.

After the first vote count, the candidate with the lowest vote will be eliminated.

Anyone who placed this person in first place will have their vote forwarded to the person who placed them in second place.

This process continues until someone gets 50 percent of the vote and wins the seat.

A candidate needs 50 percent of the vote to win a seat.((ABC News: Lewi Hirvela)

Political parties cannot decide where your vote goes – only you can.

However, they can provide guidance suggesting how candidates should be numbered.

This is called a voting card.

They are the aviation party volunteers who are distributed to the voting booths on election day.

The parties make a decision on how to route their supporters to the number of candidates.

These decisions involve parties trying to maximize their chances of winning seats or making it difficult for their opponents to win enough seats to form a government.

Voters do not have to stick to a party’s voting card.

Just number each box based on your choice.

And be prepared – a record of 12 political parties are running in these state elections, and there are 597 candidates in total.

So the ballot for your seat could be bigger than usual.

The opposition fired the first shot over the bow in this election – just before the certificates were issued, the LNP announced that it would favor Labor last at any seat in Queensland.

This meant telling voters to count even the Greens higher.

Katters Australian party and One Nation have signed a preferential agreement and have agreed to double-jump on voting cards and put the Greens in last place.

Labor has not yet said how it will be preferred – but the party said it always puts a nation last.

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