Posted on September 12, 2016
This study examines the effect of ranked choice voting (RCV) on women and people of color running for elected office in the California Bay Area. San Francisco began using ranked choice voting in 2004 for their city elections, followed by Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro in 2010. The findings of the study reveal that RCV increases descriptive representation for women, people of color, and women of color. Some reasons for RCV’s positive effects can be related to how often it replaces low, unrepresentative, turnout elections and that it allows for multiple candidates appealing to the same community to run without splitting the vote. The unambiguously positive impact of RCV on descriptive representation encourages further study.