Plural voting

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Plural voting is the practice whereby one person might be able to vote multiple times in an election. It is not to be confused with a plurality voting system which does not necessarily involve plural voting. Weighted voting is a generalisation of plural voting.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, for example, up to 1948, people affiliated with a university were allowed vote in both a university constituency and their home constituency, and property owners could vote both in the constituency where their property lay and that in which they lived, if the two were different. Some university-educated property owners could even vote in three different constituencies. These practices were abolished by the Representation of the People Act 1948, which was first applied in the 1950 General Election.


In Belgium, plural voting was introduced in 1893 and applied for elections from 1894 to 1919 as a way to limit the impact of universal suffrage.

Every male citizen over 25 got one vote for legislative elections, but some electors got up to 2 supplementary votes according to some criteria::
  • holder of a school diploma;
  • family head over 30, paying a poll tax of at least 5 francs;
  • holder of a savings account of at least 2,000 francs, or beneficiary of a life annuity of at least 100 francs.

For municipal elections, a fourth vote was granted to...
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