This week, India elects a new President with ranked choice voting (RCV) playing a pivotal role. Although RCV is not used to elect India's main parliament, it has significant uses in the nation's largest democracy, one of the most important is for selecting the president.
The President of India is not elected directly by the people themselves. The country uses an indirect election similar to the “Electoral College.” The citizens of India directly elect representatives who then vote for the President. Unlike the electoral college in the United States, the electors in India are not bound to vote in a certain way. The electoral college in India is made up of members of parliament and members of the legislative committee. RCV is used in various elections throughout the country. In India, they use a “single transferable vote” system as well as proportional representation, which ensures equal representation to all groups. Each voter can mark their first preference for presidential candidate and give a second or third preference if they choose to do so. If the voter only gives one preference, their vote will still be valid. For example, if there are five candidates, the voter will give five preferences, similar to RCV. The two front runners in India’s Presidential race are Ram Nath Kovind and Meira Krumar. The winner will likely be announced by July 20, when the counting of the votes will take place.