Voices & Choices

Ranked Choice Voting in the Press

Ranked Choice Voting in the Press

As ranked choice voting’s biggest year yet comes to an end, it’s a great time to take a closer look at RCV and FairVote’s recent media coverage. Is this reform breaking through in the media, as it is at the ballot box? 

Looking back at FairVote’s “Media Monitoring” database from October 6 to December 22, we see a few promising trends: 


Coverage of ranked choice voting is… everywhere

From October 6 to December 22, news outlets in a whopping 35 states (plus D.C. and a student newspaper in Alabama) published at least one piece mentioning ranked choice voting. 

The landscape is varied, ranging from a lone letter to the editor in Nebraska; to politicians and editorial writers seeking solutions to low-turnout runoff elections in Idaho, Iowa, and South Carolina; to dozens of reporters covering a record 20 cities holding RCV elections in Utah. 

But one thing is clear: ranked choice voting is breaking into the conversation in media markets all across the country. The breadth of coverage speaks to ranked choice voting’s momentum as the fastest-growing voting reform in the nation.  


Diverse endorsers

Conservative Republicans. Liberal Democrats. Supportive editorial writers, academics, and columnists. College students, former governors, and local elections administrators who were pleased with how smoothly implementation went. 

This is just a sample of the wide range of voices supporting RCV in the press. This melange of leaders, often embracing RCV for different reasons, underscores why we talk about better elections “for all”: ranked choice voting isn’t catching on because it favors one ideology or group. It’s simply a better way to vote. 


Longer-form pieces

With many of us taking time off for the holidays, there’s an opportunity to catch up on some of the longer-form pieces that ran this fall – on the Fair Representation Act and gerrymandering, as well as RCV: 

  • FairVote CEO Rob Richie delving into the “why” and “how” of our reforms on the How Do We Fix It? podcast
  • FairVote Senior Fellow David Daley’s richly researched piece on how “independent” redistricting commissions can be subverted. 
  • The Week’s Ryan Cooper, The New Republic’s Matt Ford, and academics Linda and Chris Fowler embracing the principle behind the Fair Representation Act – multi-member districts with proportional representation using ranked choice voting. 
  • The story of an all-female City Council – elected using ranked choice voting – in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 


Overall, it’s been an exciting three months for ranked choice voting and FairVote in the press. With grassroots activism sweeping the nation and paths to progress in Washington, DC, we’ll look for this momentum to continue in the new year and beyond. 


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