Voices & Choices

Another Exciting Year Ahead: RCV in 2022

Another Exciting Year Ahead: RCV in 2022

In 2021, ranked choice voting (RCV) had its biggest year ever: 

  • Used in a record 33 cities, including 23 municipalities for the first time. 
  • Used in the year’s biggest elections – New York City’s primaries and Virginia’s Republican convention. 
  • Used in several cities to elect the most diverse governments ever – including a majority-female City Council in New York City; an all-female City Council in Las Cruces, NM; and majority-minority City Councils in Minneapolis & Salt Lake City. 
  • Voters approved 5 of 5 ballot measures to adopt RCV elections – in Broomfield, CO; Westbrook, ME; Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; and Burlington, VT. 
  • For the first time, the U.S. House passed legislation allocating money to expand RCV elections, and a record number of state legislatures considered pro-RCV legislation. 

This year, ranked choice voting is reaching 55 jurisdictions with 10 million voters across the nation. Our movement is continuing our momentum with: 

  • Ranked choice voting in Alaska and Maine. For the first time, Alaska will hold its federal and state elections using RCV – joining Maine which first used RCV in 2018. 
  • Ranked choice voting in more cities & states. 2022 will be a critical year for the campaign towards 500 cities implementing ranked choice voting by 2025. 
    • Colorado, Virginia, and Utah recently enacted “local options” legislation allowing cities & counties to use RCV for their local elections – more jurisdictions may opt into RCV in those states. 
    • Our state legislative tracker captures the 17 (and counting) states with active RCV legislation, including “local options” bills. We also expect a ballot measure to enact RCV in Missouri, and two Washington counties already have measures on the 2022 ballot. 
  • Presidential primaries. In 2020, 3 million Democratic primary voters cast ballots by mail for a candidate who dropped out after these voters’ ballots were submitted, but before the date of the election. 1.7 million Republican primary votes were wasted the same way in 2016. RCV could address this problem, as voters’ ballots would simply be counted for their highest choice remaining in the race. In 2020, five states used RCV in their Democratic presidential primaries. For the first time, Maine’s presidential primaries will use RCV in 2024, and FairVote is working with state and local partners to expand RCV to additional states’ Republican and Democratic 2024 presidential primaries. 
  • Continued popular support. Polling and ballot data from New York City & Utah in 2021 confirms previous data showing that voters like & understand RCV, regardless of party or geography. FairVote will continue to gather data in 2022 RCV elections and report voters’ reactions to this nonpartisan reform. 
  • Advocating for proportional representation with ranked choice voting. FairVote will continue to make the case for the Fair Representation Act, the single most important long-term change to stabilize and strengthen our democracy. The Fair Representation Act would lower the temperature of our politics and dramatically reduce gerrymandering & polarization by shifting to multi-member congressional districts elected through RCV. 

These are just some of the exciting updates on the docket for RCV, FairVote, and all our incredible state & local partners this year. We’ll continue to share updates on all of these reforms. 

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