Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV)
: Ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank candidates and
produces fairer results than just checking a candidate. If you are electing
one person try instant runoff
or if you are electing a committee or council try the a
single transferable vote
Ranked-choice voting is a method of casting a vote where you rank the
candidates instead of just picking one. On the right is an example ranked
ballot for an online election.
Ranked-choice voting is better because it provides outcomes that better
represent the will of the voters. Here are a few examples of reasons why
ranked-choice voting is better:
- RCV elects a candidate supported by a majority of the voters. When there
are more than two candidates running, it is possible that the winner receives
less than a majority. A perfect example is Donald Trump winning the 2016
Republican primary without receiving the support of a majority of voters.
- RCV allows voters to vote honestly without "wasting" their vote. For
example, a voter who supports a third party can rank the third-party candidate
first, knowing that his or her vote will count towards the second choice if
the third party candidate doesn't win.
- RCV prevents losing candidates from changing the outcome of the election.
For example, in 2000, people complained that Ralph Nader caused Al Gore to
lose the election. With RCV, Nader's votes would have been transferred to
their second choices instead of splitting liberal votes.
People use the term ranked-choice voting in different ways. For some
people, ranked-choice voting means any voting method where voters rank
candidates. For these people, ranked-choice voting includes not only instant runoff voting and the single transferable vote, but
also Condorcet voting and the Borda
For some people, ranked-choice voting means specifically instant runoff voting when electing
a single candidate and the single
transferable vote when electing multiple candidates (e.g., a council or
committee). Follow the above links to learn more!
Ranked-choice voting is also known under other names, such as majority
preferential voting, the alternative vote, English preferential voting, and
the Hare-Ware system.