This will mean that you can vote for a first and second choice of who you want to win. The ballot paper will list all the candidates standing in Essex. Next to the list of candidates there will be two columns.
You will be asked to vote for your first-choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the first-choice column, and vote for your second-choice candidate by marking a cross (X) in the second-choice column.
As long as you mark one cross in the first-choice column, your vote can be counted.
You should not mark more than one cross in the first-choice column and you should not mark more than one cross in the second-choice column.
If you have marked a first choice, you can choose whether or not to mark a second choice. But if you only mark a cross in the second-choice column, your vote won’t be counted.
You should not put any other mark on the ballot paper or your vote may not be counted.
How the winning candidate is decided:
The winning candidate is the one who receives 50 per cent plus one vote (or more) of the first preference votes. If no one reaches that tally the two candidates with the highest number of first preference votes go forward to a second round of counting.
In the second round of counting, ballots with a first preference for a candidate that did not get into the top two will be reallocated according to the second preference indicated in the ballot paper. Whichever of the top two candidates has the most votes after these second-preferences have been allocated is declared the winner.