Posted by Ashley Houghton on November 03, 2021 at 2:07 PM


Contact: Will Mantell, [email protected], 914-806-0081


Big Wins for Ranked Choice Voting in 2021 Elections

WATCH: FairVote & local experts discuss RCV's 2021 wins


November 3, 2021 -- FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for better elections, celebrated the success of ranked choice voting (RCV) on Election Day and throughout the 2021 election cycle. 

"Ranked choice voting this week again showed why it's the fastest-growing, most bipartisan voting reform in the country. More than 30 cities successfully used RCV, many for the first time, and voters approved it in all three city ballot measures," said Rob Richie, President and CEO of FairVote. “But it's not just numbers. The big winners in Virginia and New York City were boosted after being nominated by ranked choice voting, while voters keep saying how much they like it, whether in blue, red, or swing parts of the country. Now it's onto major RCV elections in Alaska and Maine and new evidence of its momentum in cities, states, and even Congress." 

RCV on Election Day, By-the-Numbers

  • A record 32 cities successfully used RCV on Election Day, across seven states (UT, DE, MA, ME, MI, MN, and NM). 
  • RCV was successfully used in elections in the largest cities in Utah, Maine, and Minnesota. 
  • 22 cities successfully used RCV for the first time on Election Day. 
  • 20 cities successfully used RCV in Utah as part of a statewide pilot program, including 19 for the first time. These cities included Salt Lake City, Sandy, and Lehi -- three of the 11 largest cities in the state. 

Ballot Initiatives 

  • All three ballot measures to adopt RCV elections passed yesterday: Broomfield, CO; Westbrook, ME; and Ann Arbor, MI. Voters have now approved 13 straight ballot measures to adopt RCV in cities. Earlier in 2021, Austin, TX and Burlington, VT voters approved ballot measures to adopt RCV. 

High-Profile Races 

  • Last night, New York City elected its second Black mayor and its first-ever majority-female City Council, as well as its first South Asian-American, Muslim woman, and Black gay women Council Members. All of these candidates won in New York City’s first-ever RCV primaries in June and will now comprise New York City’s most diverse government ever. 
  • Last night, Virginia Republicans swept statewide races for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General. All three candidates were nominated during Virginia’s first-ever RCV Republican convention. The use of RCV encouraged a less negative primary race and ensured all three candidates had majority Republican support, unifying the party going into the general election. Winsome Sears will be Virginia’s first Black woman Lt. Governor, and Jason Miyares will be its first Latino Attorney General. 
  • High-profile mayoral races in Boston and Atlanta have gone to expensive runoffs or second-round elections this year. The use of RCV has removed the need for separate runoffs, and an extended campaign season, in large cities such as New York City and Minneapolis. 

RCV is the fastest-growing nonpartisan voting reform in the country, now in 50 jurisdictions with 9.6 million voters from Maine to Alaska. 


FairVote is a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections for all. We research and advance voting reforms that make democracy more functional and representative for every American.

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