Abstract: In a multihop wireless network, it is crucial but challenging to schedule transmissions in an efficient and fair manner. In this paper, a novel distributed node scheduling algorithm, called Local Voting, is proposed. This algorithm tries to equalize the load (defined as the ratio of the queue length over the number of allocated slots) through slot reallocation based on local information exchange. The algorithm stems from the finding that the shortest delivery time or delay is obtained when the load is equalized throughout the network. In addition, we prove that, with Local Voting, the network system converges asymptotically towards the optimal scheduling. Moreover, through extensive simulation, the performance of Local Voting is further investigated, in comparison with several representative scheduling algorithms from the literature. Simulation results show that the proposed algorithm achieves better performance than the other distributed algorithms, in terms of average delay, maximum delay, and fairness. Despite being distributed, the performance of Local Voting is also found to be very close to a centralized algorithm that is deemed to have the optimal performance.