Preferential voting or preference voting may refer to different election systems or groups of election systems. European literature mainly uses the term for open list proportional representation, Australian literature for Single Transferable Vote or for Ranked voting, and American literature for any of them. Recently, an increasing number of authors, including David Farrell, Ian McAllister and Jurij Toplak, see preferentiality as one of the characteristics by which electoral systems can be evaluated.  According to this view, all electoral methods are preferential, but to different degrees and may even be classified according to their preferentiality. Preferential voting, when understood as one of the systems or a group of systems, may refer, among other, to:
- Ranked voting methods, all election methods that involve ranking candidates in order of preference
- Instant-runoff voting, referred to as "preferential voting" in Australia and as "ranked choice voting" in United States, is one type of ranked voting method.
- Range voting, in which voters assign points to each candidate
- Open list, sometimes known as "preferential voting" in Europe and nations such as Sri Lanka
- Bucklin voting, which was sometimes known as "preferential voting" when used in the United States
- M, Farrell, David; Ian, McAllister, (2004-02-20). "Voter Satisfaction and Electoral Systems: Does Preferential Voting in Candidate-Centered Systems Make A Difference".
- Toplak, Jurij (2017). "Preferential Voting: Definition and Classification". Lex Localis - Journal of Local Self-Government. 15: 737–761.