Explaining Totals by Vacancy and Overall Totals. 
Elections between 1856 and 1891 were conducted
in multimember districts using firstpastthepost voting. Electors could
vote for as many candidates as their were vacancies to fill. An elector had
one vote in a
singlemember districts, two votes in a 2member district and up to four votes
in a 4member district. Separate totals have been provided based on grouping
districts by the number of vacancies to be filled. Note that because voters
had multiple votes, the
number of votes recorded in multimember districts can be larger than the
number of electors on the roll. It is not possible to calculate overall totals
by adding results from all districts, as the extra votes cast in multimember districts
would always distort the totals. Instead, The overall results provided have been calculated by using the number of persons
voting to weight down the number of votes in multimember districts, then
calculating the overall totals by adding the weighted totals.

What is the 'Total Districts' line in each table? 
This line is included for any election where there were
uncontested districts. This line provides the total roll, number of districts, total
vacancies and total candidates contesting the election, including the
districts, vacancies and candidates for uncontested districts. The 'Total Districts' line is the sum of the
Contested and Uncontested Districts line. 
What is the 'Contested District Totals' line? 
This line provides a total for each column in all contested
districts. Note that the % figure in the final column provides a minimum
estimate of turnout by dividing the number of votes by the number of vacancies
and the total enrolment. This is the default calculation used when a total
number of persons voting was not available. Note that the turnout figure
provided on the 'Persons Voting / Turnout' line will always be a better
estimate. 
Why do the Persons Voting and Total Votes not always agree? 
Vote totals have mainly been obtained from newspaper sources,
while the value of Persons Voting has been taken from the annual NSW
Statistical Register. On some occasions, a final result exactly matching the
Statistical Register was not found. On other occasions, the Statistical
Register was not always consistent in its reporting of informal votes. Without officially
published results, it has not been possible to resolve minor discrepancies between newspaper results and the Statistical
Register and these are reflected in the overall totals. 
What has been done in districts where the number of persons
voting was not available? 
Where a Persons Voting total was not available, an estimate
has been calculated by dividing the total number of votes by the number of vacancies.
Districts where a Persons Voting value was not available can be located on the
District Turnout page for any election. Overall
election results have been calculated using the Persons Voting value, and
where not available, by substituting the persons voting estimate. The only
election where Persons Voting was largely unavailable was the 1858 election. 
Informal Votes 
Until the 1880s, the reporting of informal votes in the
Statistical Register was erratic. Informal votes have been taken first from
the Statistical Register, and if not provided there, from newspaper reports.
On some occasions it was clear that the total of persons voting in the
Statistical Register included the number of informal votes. In others where
the Statistical register reported no informal votes, the shortfall in votes
from newspapers reports may well reflect unreported informal votes.
Discrepencies between reported results and the Statistical Register are noted
with the results for individual districts. 
Why do some elections have separate totals for General
and Gold Fields districts? 
Under the 1858 Electoral Act, three Gold Fields districts were created overlaying the
area covered by general districts. Voters
who lived in a proclaimed Gold Field and possessed the relevant mining or
business licence were entitled to vote in the Gold Fields seat by presenting
their licence on polling day. There was no electoral roll, Returning Officers
merely estimating the number of voters in each district who possessed a voting
right. Many of these voters also appeared on the general roll for the area,
and electors were only entitled to vote in the Gold Fields district if they
had not exercised their voting right in a local general district. For these
reasons, turnout in Gold Fields seats was often quite low compared to general
districts. For elections between 1859 and 1877 when the Gold Fields districts
existed, separate totals are maintained as an alternative measure of turnout
for the overall election. 