Pictures of “I Voted” stickers that proudly proclaim civic participation flood social media feeds every Election Day. While stickers in most of America have a familiar, even plain design, New York City has used a unique image since 2013. That design was chosen in an online contest from among four finalists using plurality voting.
Ahead of this year’s municipal elections, the City is choosing a new design. This time though, voters will use ranked choice voting to indicate their favorite sticker choices. 10 designs have been selected as finalists, and voters will be able to rank up to three choices in an online poll.
NYC’s sticker contest presents a perfect example of ranked choice voting providing more choices while ensuring majority rule. With 10 options to choose from, there should be at least one design that a majority of New Yorkers can get behind. In a plurality contest with 10 candidates though, the election could be won with just over 10% of the vote! Using ranked choice voting means the winning sticker will have broad support without forcing voters to choose just one design or vote strategically.
Ranked choice voting would also improve elections for city office in New York. We hope New Yorkers have more opportunities to use ranked choice voting soon!