The New York Film Critics Circle is unique among critics groups when it comes to the voting for its annual awards. While other critics groups use the first past the post system to decide the winners, the NYFCC relies on a complex system of counting that can mean multiple rounds of balloting. Compare this to the Oscars which use a simple system for 23 of the two dozen races, with only Best Picture using a preferential ballot and a unique method of counting.
In the first round, each of the 43 members of the Circle gets one vote; they can cast these by proxies if need be. If no nominee receives at least 50% of the votes cast, there is a second round.
In the second round, each member lists three nominees in descending order: first choice gets three points, second two and third one. If a member only lists two nominees, they will be awarded two and one points respectively. Just one nominee will get only one point. Nominees need not have been in the running in the first round. To win, a nominee must have the most votes and be listed on at least half of the ballots. If there is no such contender, there is a third round.
In the third round, voting is as in the second with two exceptions: proxies are no longer included and there can be no additional nominees. Again, to win, a nominee must have the most votes and be listed on at least half of the ballots. If there is no such contender, there is a fourth round.
In the fourth round, voting is as in the third. A plurality of points will determine the winner.