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Ranked

Choice

Voting

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The Power of Ranked Choice Voting

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Welcome to our informational webpage on ranked choice voting! Here, we will explore the concept, benefits, and implementation of ranked choice voting (RCV). Whether you’re a curious citizen, a political enthusiast, or an advocate for electoral reform, this page will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of RCV and its potential impact on democratic processes.

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This section will define ranked choice voting and explain its purpose. It will describe how RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, ensuring majority support and promoting fairer outcomes.

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Ranked choice voting (RCV), sometimes referred to as instant runoff voting (IRV), enhances the fairness of elections by allowing voters to express their preferences for candidates in a ranked order.
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It’s easy to understand. You can choose who you like the most, second most, third most, and so on. If your top choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your next choice. This helps make sure everyone’s voice is heard and the winner represents more people.
RCV can be applied to various types of elections and contributes to a more equitable democratic system.

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Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) offers several key benefits that contribute to fairer and more representative elections. Let’s explore some of these advantages:
  1. Promotes Majority Support: RCV ensures that the winning candidate has majority support from the voters. By allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference, RCV simulates multiple runoff rounds, eliminating the need for separate runoff elections. This helps prevent situations where a candidate with a small percentage of votes wins, even though a majority of voters preferred someone else.
  2. Reduces Negative Campaigning: RCV encourages candidates to run more positive and issue-focused campaigns. Since candidates need to appeal to a broader range of voters, they are incentivized to build coalitions and seek support beyond their core base. This leads to a more civil and constructive electoral environment, where candidates focus on discussing ideas and policies rather than attacking opponents.
  3. Encourages Diverse Candidates: RCV promotes diversity and encourages the participation of candidates from underrepresented groups. With RCV, candidates from minority or third-party backgrounds have a better chance of being competitive. This opens up the political arena to a wider range of perspectives, allowing for greater representation of different communities and viewpoints.
  4. Minimizes the Spoiler Effect: The spoiler effect occurs when a third-party candidate takes away votes from a major party candidate, leading to an undesired outcome. RCV mitigates this effect by allowing voters to rank both their favorite candidate and a more viable alternative. If their first-choice candidate is eliminated, their vote transfers to their next preferred candidate, ensuring their voice continues to be heard and their vote is not wasted.
  5. Enhances Voter Choice and Satisfaction: RCV empowers voters with more choices and the ability to express their preferences fully. They can support their favorite candidate as the first choice while still having a say in the election by ranking other candidates. This increased choice and flexibility can lead to higher voter satisfaction and engagement with the electoral process.
  6. Fosters a More Representative Democracy: By incorporating a ranked preference system, RCV aims to produce outcomes that better reflect the collective will of the electorate. It reduces the likelihood of extreme or polarizing candidates winning and encourages candidates to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters. This fosters a more inclusive and representative democracy that takes into account the diverse opinions and preferences of the population.
Overall, Ranked Choice Voting offers multiple benefits, including promoting majority support, reducing negative campaigning, encouraging diverse candidates, minimizing the spoiler effect, enhancing voter choice and satisfaction, and fostering a more representative democracy. These advantages make RCV an important consideration for improving the fairness and effectiveness of electoral processes.

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Sometimes, there are challenges and criticisms about ranked choice voting.
Some people say it can be confusing because instead of just picking one favorite candidate, you have to rank them from first to last.
It might take more time to count all the votes and figure out the winner.
Some people also worry that it might not be fair if not everyone understands how it works. That is why informational pages like this are necessary.
It’s important to listen to different opinions and keep improving things to make sure elections are fair for everyone.

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If you are interested in RCV, the best thing you can do is talk about it and try to use it! Many groups, workplaces, and even families vote to make decisions. Try to make it a rank choice vote! For example, when we were picking the domain name for this website, we had many options and decided to let our team vote. forwardohio.com was actually everyone’s second choice.
<image from david here>

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Are you interested in RCV?
If you are a candidate running for office and support RCV: Fill out this survey to gain an endorsement
If you a voter or volunteer wanting to help elect a candidate that supports RCV: Check out our page of endorsed candidates

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Here is a list of other sites you may want to explore for more information about RCV:
  • https://fairvote.org/our-reforms/ranked-choice-voting/
  • https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)
  • https://campaignlegal.org/democracyu/accountability/ranked-choice-voting
  • https://www.rankthevoteohio.org/about_rcv
  • https://www.npr.org/2022/11/22/1138422560/the-next-round-of-counting-begins-in-alaska-heres-how-ranked-choice-voting-works

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We hope that this informational webpage has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of ranked choice voting. By empowering citizens to express their preferences more fully and promoting fairer election outcomes, ranked choice voting has the potential to reshape democratic processes.

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Discover

Ranked Choice Voting

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) gives voters the chance to pick their second (and third) favorite option. RCV protects against the “spoiled vote” effect and guarantees that the winning candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.