Model Ranked Voting Enabling Bill (Short)

RANKED CHOICE VOTING - Enabling legislation


(a) Any city or county may conduct a local election using ranked choice voting in which voters rank the candidates for an office in order of preference. Ranked choice voting elections may be used for single-winner elections, such as Mayor, or for elections that elect multiple candidates to office, such as city council. Ranked choice voting elections are tabulated in rounds using the "single transferable vote" method. Winning thresholds shall be calculated based on the number of countable votes and the number of seats to be filled. General provisions for either single-winner elections or multiple-winner elections shall be specified by ordinance. Such ordinances shall specify at a minimum the method of calculating winning thresholds, how candidates with the fewest votes shall be eliminated before a subsequent round of the tally, how votes for eliminated candidates shall be transferred to the voter's next valid choice, how ties shall be dealt with, how ballots that skip a ranking or otherwise are miss-marked ballots shall be counted, and in the case of multi-seat contests, how surplus votes above the winning threshold for a candidate shall be transferred to alternate choices.

(b) A voting method authorized by this section may be adopted by any of the following:
(1) By approval of a ballot measure submitted to the voters by the governing body of the city or county at a regular or special election.
(2) By initiative ordinance or charter amendment.

(c) Any city or county using a ranked choice voting method shall conduct a voter education and outreach campaign to familiarize voters with ranked voting.

(d) The ranked choice voting ballot shall allow voters to rank as many choices as there are candidates. In the event that the voting equipment cannot feasibly accommodate a number of rankings on the ballot equal to the number of candidates, the elections official may limit the number of choices a voter may rank to the maximum number allowed by the equipment. This limit shall never be less than three if there are three or more candidates.

(e) The ballot shall not interfere with a voter's ability to rank at least one write-in candidate. For the purposes of this section, a mark for an unqualified write-in candidate shall not be considered a mark for a candidate.