WHY RANKED CHOICE VOTING?
When the ballots are counted, if a candidate receives more than half of the first choices, that candidate wins.
However, if no candidate gets more than half the first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is removed. If you picked that candidate first, then your vote goes to your next choice. You only have to rank your choices once – this counting process continues automatically until a candidate wins with more than 50% of the vote.
Ranked Choice Voting is already used for statewide elections in Alaska and Maine, and local elections in more than 50 cities and counties including New York City; San Francisco; Takoma Park, Maryland; Arlington, Virginia; and Oakland, California.
Ranked Choice Voting Has Proven Results:
- Elects more women and people of color
- It reduces strategic voting and pressure to vote for the ‘devil you know’.
- Ranking is natural and easy to understand.
- Helps reduce toxic or negative campaigning
- Makes city-wide politicians have to campaign beyond their base and across the city, forcing them to go East of the River to build broad coalitions.
- Ranking preserves Native Washingtonian voting power and combats political displacement by letting communities vote for backup choices without harming their first choice. When they implemented ranked voting in Oakland, CA, Black representation was maintained despite severe gentrification and population loss.
- Candidates have to build a coalition that includes 1st and 2nd choices (you can’t win with only 2nd choice votes).