Ranked Choice Voting
Ranked Choice Voting is a voting system that allows voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference rather than being limited to just one.
Under Our Current System
Candidates can —and do— win with just 20% or 30% of the vote.
They can’t be said to represent the true choice of the voters.
We're pushed towards traditional candidates and pressured to cast a “safe” vote for the front-runners.
This can result in having to vote for someone other than your preferred candidate.
Politics is inaccessible for far too many New Yorkers.
Our representatives aren't truly representative when our current system continually excludes so many.
With Ranked Choice Voting
We can ensure that winning candidates have broader support within their community.
That means that candidates must reach out and listen to more communities to build a winning coalition.
You can vote for who you want and always have your vote matter.
That means no more choosing between the lesser of two evils or worrying about “wasting” your vote on a candidate who won’t win.
We can open the door to more candidates, especially non-traditional and diverse candidates, who more accurately represent New Yorkers.
That removes the fear of like-minded voters splitting votes between candidates with similar viewpoints.
Ranked Choice Voting puts more power in the hands of voters—where it belongs.
How Ranked Choice Voting Works
Ranked Choice Voting is as Easy as 1—2—3
With Ranked Choice Voting, you can rank multiple candidates in order of preference—first choice, second choice, third choice, and so on—rather than being limited to just one candidate.
Add up all the first-choice votes for each candidate. If one candidate receives more than 50% of the first-choice votes, they win the election!
If no candidate gets more than 50% of the first-choice votes, then there’s an instant runoff. Counting occurs in rounds.
In each round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and any voter who chose that candidate will have their vote transferred to their next ranked candidate on their ballot.
In other words, if your first-choice candidate gets eliminated, your vote is transferred to your second-choice candidate instead, and so on.
Once all the votes are tallied, the candidate with the most votes wins, just like we're all used to.
Where is Ranked Choice Voting Used?
In the United States
Over 10 million voters across the US elect their government officials through Ranked Choice Voting. This includes voters in Maine, Alaska, New York City, Oakland, Burlington, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, Memphis, and Minneapolis.
Across the Globe
Ranked Choice Voting is also used nationwide around the world—from India, the world’s largest democracy, to Australia and Ireland, who've been using Ranked Choice Voting for over 100 years!
In Higher Education
Over 1.5 million college students from over 90 colleges use Ranked Choice Voting for student government elections. In New York, this includes Cornell, Columbia, Vassar, Bard, and Binghamton.