Voices & Choices

Five simple ways to support ranked choice voting

Five simple ways to support ranked choice voting

Maine voters had the opportunity to rank their ballots for U.S. Senate and U.S House. The votes are still being counted, but here is what’s happening so far.

Memphis voted to keep ranked choice voting, rejecting referendums the city council proposed that would have repealed the reform. It was passed by 71 percent of voters in 2008 but has not yet been implemented, though that will change in 2019.

Voters living in the California Bay Area cities of San Francisco, San Leandro, Berkeley and Oakland used RCV to elect local officials. Some races are still undetermined, while others ended in the first round with winners receiving a majority of first choices.

Now is the time to spread this reform to cities and states across the country. We can’t do it alone. 

Top 5 actions you can take to get involved:

  1. Email (yourstate)@fairvote.org (example: Minnesota@Fairvote.org) to get connected with activists in your area.
  2. Write a letter to your local newspaper.
  3. Share this on Facebook, and download and share these graphics.
  4. Ask your friends to sign-up and to get involved.
  5. Donate to FairVote: We’ll provide resources to allies across the country.

When you’re talking to your friends, here are some key points to make:

1. Ranked choice voting is an electoral reform to fix our broken democracy. It provides a way out of gridlock and it gives new candidates a chance to offer their ideas without being called “spoilers.”

2. Ranked choice voting is a proven system, successfully used in cities across the country including: Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN; San Francisco, CA; Santa Fe, NM and Cambridge, Mass., to name a few.

3. Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race shows why ranked choice voting works. The outcome will be close, but the winner will be whoever earns the broadest support of the voters.

4. In the race to represent Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, two independents received 8 percent of vote - suggesting voters felt free to vote their conscience without fear of vote-splitting or spoilers.

5. Memphis voters saved ranked choice voting (referred to there as instant runoff voting) from repeal, re-affirming their support for a more fair and democratic voting method. The debate is over and it’s time to start preparing for RCV in 2019.


Graphic by Mikhaila Markham 

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