Ashley Houghton, Communication's Director
How to describe ranked choice voting (RCV)
Ranked choice voting is a way to ensure elections are fair for all voters. It allows voters the option to rank candidates in order of preference: one, two, three, and so forth.
If your vote cannot help your top choice win, your vote counts for your next choice.
In races where voters select one winner, if a candidate receives more than half of the first choices, that candidate wins, just like in any other election. However, if there is no majority winner after counting first choices, the race is decided by an "instant runoff." The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and voters who picked that candidate as ‘number 1’ will have their votes count for their next choice. This process continues until there’s a majority winner or a candidate won with more than half of the vote.
How to describe FairVote
FairVote is a national non-partisan, nonprofit organization focused on electoral reforms, including ranked choice voting.
Stats for stories
18 cities and the state of Maine use ranked choice voting and several additional cities (including a few new states) are poised to use it in their upcoming election cycle.
75% of voters in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District reported ranked choice voting was “somewhat” or “very” easy, according to an exit survey conducted with the Bangor Daily News
Turnout increased 10 percentage points under ranked choice voting elections when used to replace primary and runoff elections, according to a 2016 study
Interview an expert
Dave Daley, FairVote senior fellow, author of "Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy"
Topics of expertise: Redistricting reform, gerrymandering
Deb Otis, senior research analyst
Topics of expertise: Research on ranked choice voting (voter turnout, representation for women and BIPIC, voter understanding, etc), ranked choice voting in Massachusetts, election recounts
Pedro Hernandez, senior policy coordinator:
Topics of expertise: Voting rights, ranked choice voting in California
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