The debate over ranked choice voting (RCV) and runoff elections is once again alive with the failure of SF0145 in the Wyoming State Senate. The bill would have implemented runoff elections when no candidate received a majority of the vote in primaries for federal or statewide office. The legislation narrowly failed, in part because of concerns about the cost of implementing runoff elections. Before the legislation failed, multiple senators voiced support for RCV as a cheaper alternative offering many of the same benefits as runoff elections.
RCV is, in fact, cheaper to implement than runoff elections, but offers multiple other benefits. RCV races result in greater turnout in the final vote tally than runoff elections because of the drop in voter participation runoffs cause. Runoff elections are less representative in the second round of voting than the final round of an RCV election, and of course delay the final result of the election considerably. RCV allows for faster, cheaper, and more representative elections than runoffs.