Content Categorized with "Ranked Choice Voting"

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  • 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.

  • Oscar Stars Back UK's Referendum on IRV

    The British have a chance to reject their U.S.-style electoral system in favor of instant runoff voting (called "the alternative vote", or AV in the United Kingdom). Legislation to establish a May 5th national referendum cleared parliament this week, and polls show IRV can win. Britain has had a large rise in third party voting in recent decades, and IRV is a sensible step toward better accommodating voter choice and avoiding the "spoiler" controversy.

  • Instant Runoff Voting for Best Picture: What you need to know

    With nominations for the 2010 Academy Awards announced on January 25, Academy voters will soon begin sending in their final ballots for tabulation. Journalists covering the awards should be aware of the use of Instant Runoff Voting (also called “preferential voting”) to select the winner of the Best Picture category. 
  • Choice voting at the Oscars; Nate Silver explains IRV for Best Picture


    America's most successful awards show -- and often the most-watched television program in the world-- is the Academy of Motion Pictures' annual Oscar awards. For more than a half century, nominations have been selected with the choice voting method of proportional voting that FairVote recommends for legislative elections. Starting last year, instant runoff voting is used to select Best Picture from among ten nominees.


  • FairVote's Year in Reform: Progress on All Fronts

    FairVote’s reform ideas had  key victories in 2010,  and, when used, made a real difference. We ask for your support in continuing our work!

  • NC Court of Appeals Instant Runoff Election Results

    In an election that saw the first-ever use of instant runoff voting (IRV) in a statewide election in North Carolina, Doug McCullough has defeated Cressie Thigpen for a seat on the NC Court of Appeals by 50.3% to 49.7% in the instant runoff. With 13 candidates running for the position, the election would have posed a challenge for any electoral system. Using IRV, voters expressed their preferences among the available candidates and the candidate with the most popular support was elected.

  • Cumberland County Instant Runoff Election Results

    In a closely contested election featuring the use of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), Claire Hill has defeated Robert Hasty, Jr. in the race for the District 12A North Carolina Superior Court seat in Cumberland County. This important election is among the first in North Carolina history in which IRV has been used. Here are some key facts about the election.

  • From the "Non-Majority Rule" Desk: Post-Election Wrap-Up, IRV in Oakland, and Looking to 2012

    The counting and recounting of ballots in the 2010 elections is nearly over. In a final wrap-up blog from the Non-Majority Rule desk, we review the role of so-called “spoilers” in a few more very close elections. We also offer a preview of what’s in store in 2012, starting with the wide-open contest for the Republican nomination, and highlight media attention to a city offering a better means to elect winners: Oakland, with its ranked choice system of instant runoff voting.

  • Understanding the RCV Election Results in District 10

    The Board of Supervisors race in District 10 was an unprecedented race in San Francisco’s seven-year history of using ranked choice voting (the first RCV elections took place in 2004). It featured 21 candidates, no incumbent and no obvious front runners.  That resulted in an election in which the winning candidate, Malia Cohen, barely edged out the competition in an exceptionally close race.

    Given the parameters of this race, RCV functioned smoothly to produce a winner that was preferred by the most voters. It fostered a degree of coalition-building as candidates and voters used the ranked ballots effectively, and unlike other races this race was substantially free of negative, mudslinging attacks as the multi-candidate field focused on seeking the second and third rankings from the supporters of other candidates.
  • Election 2010 and Ranked Choice Voting

    Election 2010 was a remarkable one for the instant runoff voting form of ranked choice voting (RCV). This first use was a major facor in the first-ever election of an Asian American woman to be mayor of a major American city. PBS Evening News Hour with Jim Lehrer profiles the Oakland election with ranked choice voting -- see the program here.