All electors could vote for a political list and also cast a first preference vote for a specific candidate. The party with the highest number of list votes won the Senate seat, and the winning party's candidate with the most first preference votes was declared elected.
The main opposition group from the previous parliament, Romano Prodi's centre-left Union party, ran a united slate. One of the Union candidates noted that the state of the party lists favoured his group's chances of election.
Carlo Consiglio was fifty-four years old in 2006. Originally from the Naples area, he moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1989. He has been active in the Italian expatriate community and has served with the General Council of Italians Abroad. In the 2006 campaign, he spoke against the legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
Vincenzo Centofanti was born in Abruzzo and spent some of his youth in Ethiopia during the Italian occupation of that country. He was still in Ethiopia when it was liberated by the British in 1941, and he was held in British surveillance camps in Kenya and Tanganyika for the next six years. Repatriated to Italy in 1947, he received a law degree in 1954 and moved to Philadelphia three years later to rejoin his family. He worked as a banker and an Alitalia executive, and was retired by the time of the 2006 campaign. He has been active with the General Council of Italians Abroad and has served as president of the Federazione delle Associazioni Abruzzesi della Valle del Delaware.
Dom (Domenico) Serafini was born in Giulianova, Abruzzo. He moved to the United States of America in 1968, at age eighteen, to attend Empire State College. He is a journalist and publisher based in New York City and is best known for publishing the television trade journal Video Age International. Serafini was one of the first declared candidates for the 2006 Senate election in North and Central America, and was described in an August 2005 New York Times article as an early front-runner. In January 2006, he was quoted as saying, ""My ideology is pragmatism. I'm not an idealogue. My job is to represent Italians overseas, not play politics." He later said that his primary mission if elected would be "squeez[ing] whatever is possible from Italian state and government funds for Italians overseas."
Sonia Marcella Spadoni-Alioto was born in Ferrara and later moved to San Francisco. Forty-one years old in 2006, she has a background in law and accountancy and has provided assistance for Italians living overseas in accessing Italian state services.
More than ninety-five per cent of votes cast in this election were from the United States of America or Canada. The American result was a virtual tie between Berlusconi's list and Prodi's list. In Canada, Prodi's list won a significant victory. Renato Turano credited the Canadian turnout as vital for his election.
^Ann Farmer, "Kissing Bambinos Instead of Babies," New York Times, 21 August 2005, p. 6; Rachel Rivera, "New York candidate seeks Italy Senate seat to represent Italians abroad," Associated Press Newswires, 8 January 2006, 11:33.
^Derek Rose, "A Yankee in Berlusconi's court?", New York Daily News, 15 January 2006, p. 27.
^Desmond O'Grady, "Italy votes - from Leichhardt to Lima," Sydney Morning Herald, 29 March 2006, p. 14.