Plural voting is the practice of allocating more than one vote to a person based on some criteria (such as land ownership, university education, etc...). According to Wikipedia, anywhere it was in existence has long abandoned the practice.

  1. Is there anywhere in the world where plural voting is currently in effect for political elections?

  2. Are there any notable proposals to implement plural voting in modern times aside from "parental vote" model listed on the Wikipedia page? ("notable" for me is defined fairly liberally. Let's say, more than 1,000 people signed on to support you, or more than 50,000 people are aware of the proposal. As opposed to a blog post read by 10 people).


3 Answers 3


If you're willing to stretch the definition of plural voting a little:

In elections to the City of London Corporation, the governing body of the City of London1, not only are companies and other organisations represented, but the number of voters they receive is dependent on the size of the organisation.

This ranges from 1 voter for a body employing up to 9 people, to 79 voters for a body employing 3500 people, with organisations free to select their voters as they please.

Sources: City of London Corporation website and Wikipedia.

(Incidentally, if this does count as plural voting, so too would the US Electoral College...)

(1) Not to be confused with London.

  • Most of the rationale for that is, IIRC, because they employ people who are NON-residents of The City?
    – user4012
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 1:04
  • 2
    @DVK: yes; just 7,000 people live in the City, versus 330,000 who work there every day. Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 10:08

In The Netherlands, the members of the Eerste Kamer are elected with a system where different votes have different weights. The Wikipedia article explains it only in Dutch. The Eerste Kamer (Upper House) are not elected directly by the people, but they are elected by the members of the provincial parliaments. Those provincial parliaments in turn are elected by the people. To compensate for the fact that not every province has the same number of inhabitants per parliamentarian, the votes for the Eerste Kamer have different weights depending on the province.

Not every member of the States-Provincial has an equally weighing vote. By vote-weighing, a relation is created with the number of inhabitants of the province. The population is divided by one hundred times the number of States-Provincial members in the province. The result is called the stemwaarde. In Flevoland in 1995, for example, one vote had a stemwaarde of 61, whereas one in Zuid-Holland had a stemwaarde of 401. The votes for a particular party are multiplied by the stemwaarde. The result of this sum is the stemcijfer.

For completion, the original Dutch text is: Niet elk Statenlid heeft een even zware stem. Door weging wordt een relatie gelegd met het inwonertal van de provincie. Het inwonertal wordt daarbij gedeeld door het honderdvoud van het aantal Statenleden van de provincie. De uitkomst heet de stemwaarde. In Flevoland had in 1995 één stem bijvoorbeeld een stemwaarde van 61 en in Zuid-Holland een stemwaarde van 401.De op een partij in een provincie uitgebrachte stemmen worden vermenigvuldigd met de stemwaarde. De uitkomst van deze som heet stemcijfer.


There's something quite similar with non-citizen voting. European Union citizens are permitted to vote for the National Assembly for Wales. Some also get to vote in elections for the home countries, the French and Italians have special "overseas constituencies." A few places in America allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, these citizens also enjoy an effective "plural vote" if they can vote overseas in elections in their home countries. There are probably other examples.

  • 1
    Being able to vote in multiple, different elections is not an example of plural voting. Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 19:18
  • Not exactly the same, but they have a quite similar effect, especially if you view the EU as a federal superstate, the ambition of those who created the Welsh Assembly. Imagine someone being able to vote in elections for both Arizona's state legislature and New Mexico's state legislature. Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 4:07

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