The Single Transferrable Vote

 The Single Transferrable Vote (STV) is the method by which Malta elects its national legislature.

 Under the STV, voters rank their preferred candidates in numerical order (eg. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc).

 Candidates are then elected when they reach a specified quota in their district.

 The quota is determined by dividing the number of valid votes cast by the number of seats plus one.

 During the first count of ballots, the first preference on all sheets is noted and any candidate reaching the
      quota is considered as elected.

 Whenever an elected candidate receives votes in excess of the quota, these votes are then transferred to the
      candidate of second choice on the ballot sheet.

 Subsequent counts are carried out to determine further elected candidate and the process is repeated for as
      many counts as necessary.

 If no candidate reaches the quota on any particular count, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated
      and his votes are transferred to the next choice on the ballot sheet.

 Whenever there is no indication of preference for any of the remaining candidates on the ballotm sheet, this
      vote is then deemed non-transferable and therefore unused.

 This transfer of votes between candidates continues until all seats have been filled.

Resources: Department of Information, Electoral Commission, Malta Data, Michael J. Schiavone