Voices & Choices

Ranked Choice Voting Wins in 2020

Ranked Choice Voting Wins in 2020

We’re only halfway through 2020, but ranked choice voting (RCV) has already had enough victories to fill a full year! 

In just the first six months of the year, there’s been the use of RCV in five presidential primaries, phenomenal media coverage in digital and print outlets, amazing progress on numerous state-led campaigns to put RCV to statewide referenda in November, and much more. 

Here is a comprehensive list of RCV victories thus far in 2020: 

  • Democratic voters in five states—Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Wyoming, and Nevada—had the opportunity to experience RCV in party-run presidential primaries. This reality ensured that votes in those states cast for candidates who eventually withdrew from the race were not “wasted”—but instead counted for voters’ next-ranked choices.






  • The Fulcrum held a series of reader votes to choose among 64 reform proposals in its “Democracy Madness” tournament. RCV was the champion, defeating the National Popular Vote plan in the final round.



  • RCV won big on the ballot in Maine’s largest city of Portland in March. After three mayoral elections with RCV, 81 percent of voters backed expanding RCV to all city offices in a campaign led by the League of Women Voters of Maine and its Portland allies.


  • At the League of Women Voters US biennial convention this month, 93 percent of its 1,143 delegates voted to approve a new position to “support electoral systems at each level of government that encourage participation, are verifiable and auditable and enhance representation for all voters.” This position enables LWVUS and its state and local ams to advocate for ranked choice voting and proportional voting.



  • The Academy of Motion Pictures, which uses the proportional form of RCV for nearly all its Oscar nominations, will now do so for Best Picture nominees; RCV was already used to pick the Best Picture winner. The Academy expanded its use of RCV to elect its Governing Board; RCV winners this year included Whoopi Goldberg and Ava DuVernay.



While these successes have been great for the movement, we’re not getting complacent. Indeed, these victories have only motivated us to fight harder to provide better governance to all Americans. Learn how you can join us in that fight here.


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