Election Day has come and gone, but Canberrans eager to know the final result must be patient as the counting is far from over.
While 78.1 per cent per cent of first-preference votes were counted on Saturday night, the final results are unlikely to be announced until next Saturday.
So, which votes have been counted?
Staff from the ACT Electoral commission opened up the ballot boxes after the polls closed on Saturday night and counted most of the first preference votes - all those number 1s on ballot papers. Some ballot papers would have stop being numbered after the 1, most will have up to 5 and electorate with the most candidates (Ginninderra) could have as many as 33.
But Canberra's a small city. Why will it take so long for the election to be called?
For that you can thank the complex counting method of the Hare-Clark electoral system. One advantage is that it maximises the influence of each vote by allowing it to be shared among candidates based on preferences given. Put simply, your one vote can help more than one candidate get elected.
The downside is that the counting can take a long time and be hard to explain.
The process officially starts on Sunday, but only the pre-poll paper votes and declaration votes (where people turned up to the polls but were not on the roll to vote) will be counted then.
Monday is where it really begins.
Staff will being scanning paper ballots into computers to capture every preference, the computers will do their thing and each day they'll spit out the latest interim results, until every ballot paper is in and we get the final result. While they're doing that, every postal vote must be opened, checked and counted. This is done throughout the week as postal votes can be received up until Friday, October 21.
How do the computers work their magic?
Here's where the maths comes in. We won't go into too much detail on that, but basically everyone is trying to get to a quota of votes.
A quota equals 16.67 per cent of the valid votes for each electorate. Once a candidate reaches a quota, they are elected. If that candidate has managed to get even more votes than they needed for a quota, then a fraction of a vote gets passed on to every second preference on those ballot papers. The size of that fraction depends on how much more than a quota of first preferences the candidate received.
If, after this step, those surplus votes mean other candidates have scored enough to reach a quota, they are also elected and, again, their surplus votes are divided up among the remaining candidates. Basically, fractions of each vote get spread among each of the candidates.
Want to know a bit more about the process? Here's a video where a nice lady explains it further.
Surely after all that distributing, the work is done?
Well, not quite. This is where we get into Survivor-mode.
If there are still vacancies after the surplus votes have been handed out, the candidate with the fewest votes is out of the game. But while that candidate is off the island, the votes stay alive and are in play for the other contestants. The computer looks at every ballot paper with a 1 for the unlucky candidate, and then reallocates that vote to whoever was number 2.
This elimination game continues, knocking off the next candidate with the fewest votes until there are only five remaining - the lucky winners.
Okay, but when will we know who our 25 MLAs are?
About lunchtime next Saturday, the ACT Electoral Commissioner Phillip Green is expecting, to know for sure. That's the time they've given an answer the past two ACT elections, but with more votes to count this year Mr Green says it could take longer. But we already have a pretty good idea of who's in, although there could be a few changes yet.
THEN is it over?
Yes, the last party standing will take its prize. At the moment, that's almost certainly going to be Labor with Greens support.
Canberrans have endured their fare share of lengthy election counting this year, but soon it will all be over. What a relief.
Visit the ACT Electoral Commission's website for a more detailed explanation of the Hare-Clark system.