With the elections, not only does your first candidate supporting vote count, but so too do your preferences.
Most councillors are not elected outright, but get enough votes made up from both a primary vote, but also if you put them second or third. However, enough primary votes, a ‘quota’, will see a candidate elected.
You do not have to vote as per a candidate’s “How to vote card”, but are free to choose the order of the candidates you think would be best to be elected.
If you put a candidate last in your preferences, then they will receive no run on votes from other candidates, and are much less likely to be voted in.
Candidates will have their own reasons for choosing who they prefer to give their votes to, which may include supporting other female candidates, holding the same values, or feeling that the other person is a strong candidate, who if elected on votes before them will then be able to pass their excess votes on.
Preferences do count, so it is up to you to question your candidates about the reasons behind their preferences. Voting as per their preferences may not result in the candidates you want to be elected being elected.
This election, the Victorian Parliament have decided not to allow a list of candidate’s preferences to be distributed with the Ballot Pack, so you will have to see how the candidates recommend that you vote in their election material.