On March 6, 2018, the City of Santa Fe held its first mayoral and city council elections with ranked choice voting. The election was successful, with record turnout for a mayoral election in Santa Fe, following a positive campaign.
The mayoral election was an open seat contest, and the first mayoral election since the office was converted to a full time position and given expanded authority. It attracted five strong candidates. At the end of the instant runoff, Alan Webber was elected mayor with 66.2% of the final round vote. This table shows the round-by-round vote totals for each candidate:
Two of the four city council districts had three candidates as well. District 2 was won by Carol Romero-Wirth in the first round with 52.9% of the vote and District 4 was won by JoAnne Vigil Coppler in the second round with 56.5% of the final round vote. The official city results may be viewed online here.
The city implemented RCV in three months after a court order required implementation on November 29th, 2017. The city used a new voting system created by Dominion, who also provides the voting equipment used for RCV elections in the California Bay Area. As summarized in our blog post from March 8th, there were very few errors and very few "exhausted" ballots. Thanks to a clear, well-designed ballot and a strong voter education campaign led by FairVote New Mexico's Maria Perez, voters ranked candidates without difficulty, confident that their vote would count.
Exit polling of a large, representative group of voters found that voters overwhelmingly understood and liked the new system. As the report below summarizes, voters ranked candidates and left their polling places satisfied with their voting experience and agreeing that RCV should continue to be used in Santa Fe elections to come.
Voters in survey approve of ranked-choice system, Albuquerque Journal
Webber elected Santa Fe mayor in first ranked-choice voting, Albuquerque Journal
Santa Fe Picks Publishing Entrepreneur as Next Mayor, U.S. News & World Report
Webber sees 'future of unlimited potential' Santa Fe New Mexican
The key to Webber’s win: Noble voters Santa Fe New Mexican