Content Categorized with "Ranked Choice Voting"

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  • Why Approval Voting is Unworkable in Contested Elections

    Approval voting is a method of voting to elect single winners that has adherents among some voting theorists, but it is unworkable in contested elections in which voters have a stake in the outcome. Once aware of how approval voting works, strategic voters will always earn a significant advantage over less informed voters. This problem with strategic voting far outweighs any other factor when evaluating the potential use of approval voting in governmental elections - and is also true of range voting, score voting, the Borda Count and Bucklin voting.

  • Ranked Choice Absentee Ballots: Preventing the Disenfranchisement of Military and Overseas Voters

    American citizens living abroad, including men and women in uniform, often face difficulties in voting in elections at home. Military and overseas voters continue to point to short ballot turnaround times as an obstacle to voting in federal, state, and local elections. Ranked choice absentee ballots provide a legal and practical solution to this problem.


  • Big Rhode Island win for better voting & IRV

    On July 13th, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed H 6176 into law. Introduced on May 19th with the backing of FairVote Rhode Island, the bill passed the state Senate 35-2 and  House 70-0. It establishes a voter choice study commission charged with studying ranked choice voting (RCV, or "instant runoff voting) and other options designed to increase voter participation and accountability, uphold majority rule and produce fiscal savings. The commission will issue a report by January 2012. A report by a similar commission in Colorado in 2007 led to a 2008 law allowing all localities to use RCV.

    Rhode Island has a history of electing candidates with only plurality support, including the 2010 governor's race won with 36%. RCV would avoid "spoiler" dynamics in such election.

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  • Major Legal Victory for Ranked Choice Voting — and Reform

    On May 20th, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower federal court ruling rejecting a legal challenge to the City of San Francisco's use of ranked choice voting (RCV, also known as instant runoff voting, or IRV). The three-judge panel emphatically dismissed the plaintiffs' arguments, including a particularly clear rejection of the claim that RCV violates the principles of one-person, one-vote or equal protection under the law.

  • AMPAS Modifies Best Picture Nomination Method, Maintains Proportional Voting Principles

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a long history of using innovative voting methods to select the nominees and winners of its annual Academy Award "Oscars". This month it  announced changes in the way nominations for the sought-after Best Picture award will be determined. The Academy announced that, beginning next year, a modified system similar to choice voting will be used to select Best Picture nominees, with choice voting continued to be used to select five nominees in most other categories. It also announced that ranked choice voting (RCV, or "instant runoff voting" or "preferential voitng") willl continue to be used for the final vote for Best Picture.

  • Oscars Modify Nomination Process, Keep Proportional Representation and IRV

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has a long history of using innovative voting methods to select the winners of its annual Academy Awards, recently announced some changes in the way nominations for the sought-after Best Picture award will be determined. The organization announced Tuesday that, beginning next year, a modified system similar to choice voting will be used to select Best Picture nominees.

  • The New York 26th District Special Election: The Spoiler Effect in Action

    As debate subsides on the impact of the recent special election in New York's 26th congressional district, it's time to step back and examine more fundamental dilemmas within the election process as revealed by this election.

  • California Democracy Dreaming

    California's tradition of pace-setting changes in the United States bodes well for reformers. Instant runoff voting (IRV, ranked choice voting) gained more validation in the Bay Area, with a definitive federal court ruling unanimously upholding its legality in San Francisco and a broadly supported "Champion of Democracy" event in in Oakland. The National Popular Vote plan for president earned an easy win in the Assembly and should reach Gov. Jerry Brown's desk this year. The legislature also advanced sensible changes to increase secure access to voting.

  • Does BBC mean "Bow Before Cameron" on AV?


    On May 5th, British voters will participate in their second-ever national referendum, deciding whether to replace plurality voting for House of Commons elections with the alternative vote (AV). The referendum outcome remains up in the air, but we already know two losers: prime minister David Cameron, who has shown he cannot be trusted, and the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), the famed news source.


  • Instant runoff progress from Hawaii to Maine

    Instant runoff voting (IRV), the ranked choice voting system that upholds majority rule in multi-candidate races, keeps advancing. The Hawaii House of Representatives this week unanimously passed legislation to use IRV in county elections that currently are decided by plurality voting in the wake of controversial, low-plurality victories. Across the nation, the League of Women Voters of Maine, after a multi-year study, endorsed IRV election of candidates in single seat races. Meanwhile, we will see IRV races this year in cities like St. Paul (MN), Telluride (CO), Portland, ME) and San Francisco (CA). The Associated Press this week featured the role of IRV in the wide-open San Francisco race for mayor.