Ranked Choice Voting

Ranked choice voting is gaining attention in the NY Mayor’s race. In the United States we are accustomed to one vote for one person per office. However, ranked voting is more complicated, as voters can rank who they want for a single office.

Let’s take a look at how it works!

Source: NPR

  1. If someone gets 50% plus one after all the first-choice votes are counted, then the election is over and that candidate wins. 
  2. But if no one gets 50% plus one, it’s on to Round 2.
  3. The person with the lowest number of first-place votes is eliminated, and that candidate’s voters’ second choices get redistributed as votes for other candidates.
  4. This reallocation of votes goes on until someone reaches 50% plus one.

In the New York Democratic mayoral primary, with such a large field of candidates and a high percentage of undecided voters, it could take many rounds before someone reaches a majority. Check out the story from NPR. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Ranked Voting?

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