Instead of voting for a single candidate for an office, voters can rank the candidates... easy as 1, 2, 3. Voters may rank as many candidates as they want, knowing that indicating a later choice candidate will never hurt a more preferred candidate.
As a voter, you don’t have to rank. You can just vote for one candidate, like you always have. Or you can rank just some of the candidates. If you only like 2 of the 3 candidates, you can rank them 1st and 2nd, leaving the rest blank. For example, on the ice cream ballot below, you can leave the strawberry row blank if you do not like strawberry ice cream at all.
Learn more, including how it works.
We rank things all of the time. Choosing ice cream flavors, clothing, or cars requires us to rank multiple possible choices by their advantages. So instead of cars or ice cream, voters rank candidates in order of preference: one, two, three, and so on.
We all want to participate in a powerful democracy, where voters feel represented and the candidates who win are those with the best ideas or the strongest experience. Ranked Choice Voting helps ensure that this future is possible for all Americans.
Your vote keeps working throughout the process. If your first choice can’t draw enough support, your second choice can still gain from your vote. So can your third or your fourth choice. Your vote always contributes to the outcome, increasing your power over the results. This is what the phrase ‘transferable vote’ means - your voice continues to be heard until the winner is announced.
Majority rule is a fundamental principle of our democracy. Ranked Choice Voting ensures majority winners for single-seat offices, and majority rule with minority voice for multi-seat bodies.
If a person wins outright in the first vote, they won a majority. If a person wins in later rounds, a majority of people have agreed that they are an acceptable compromise candidate. Candidates must get a majority to win.
States and counties don’t face the possibility of having to administer two elections in the event of a runoff.
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