Ranked choice voting (RCV) continues to gain steam in local elections, as Basalt, Colorado recently conducted its first-ever mayoral election using the method. Though RCV has been technically sanctioned for the city’s mayoral races since 2002, Basalt used the method this year because, for the first time since the ordinance was passed, more than two candidates sought the office.
In a three-way race, longtime resident Bill Kane won handily, achieving over 50 percent support on the first ballot. Because he received majority support on the first ballot, the reallocation process was not triggered.
Despite the fact that the city cancelled in-person voting due to the Covid-19 epidemic, mail-in ballots combined with a 24/7 ballot drop-off location led to high turnout. In fact, 1,153 ballots were cast in the race, besting the total of 1,099 from 2016’s highly contested mayoral race—indicating that the combination of RCV with mail-in ballots empowers voters.
Photo by Mike Scheid on Unsplash