Seventeen measures to enact ranked choice voting (RCV) have been on the ballot in 2016-2021, including four statewide measures (two in Maine) and 13 measures in cities and counties. There have been 15 victories and two defeats, including winning percentages averaging more than 65 percent of the vote in the 10 cities voting on RCV in 2019-2021. The latest wins in 2021 were on March 2nd in Vermont's largest city of Burlington and on May 1st in Austin, Texas, the nation's 10th largest city. More than 15 Utah cities are expected to choose to enact RCV for their 2021 elections by statute.
Austinites for Progressive Reform in January earned the chance for a place on the May 1, 2021 ballot in Austin for four ballot measures relating to democracy after collecting more than 24,000 signatures. One measure would establish RCV for city elections, with implementation tied to clarification of its legality under Texas law. The city council on February 8th voted to send the measures to the May 1st ballot. The Austin Chronicle in this editorial endorsed Proposition E for ranked choice voting. If you live in Austin, please vote YES on Proposition E.
Update, May 2, 2021: Austin voters approved Proposition E, with a winning percentage of 58.6%.
The Burlington City Council in September 2020 voted to place Question 4 on the March 2, 2021 city ballot to establish RCV for city council elections and replace the current system where a runoff is held if no candidate earns at least 40 percent of the vote. Better Ballot Burlington led the campaign in support of the measure, with backers including 10 local state legislators, former governor Howard Dean, and the League of Women Voters of Vermont - see this commentary by campaign co-chairs Dean and Zoraya Hightower.
Update, March 3, 2021: Burlington voters approved Question 4, with a winning percentage of 64.4%.
On November 3, 2020, ranked choice voting won on the ballot for all major elections in Alaska and in all five cities voting on it. A Massachusetts campaign for RCV was defeated. See news about the November campaigns below, with additional information on this page.
The following two states and five cities had ballot measures to enact ranked choice voting (RCV) on the ballot in November 2020. Earlier in the year, Maine's largest city of Portland approved a ballot measure with 81% of the vote to amend its charter to extend use of RCV for all city elections. Collectively, these eight ballot measures represented the most jurisdictions voting on RCV in one year in American history.
Alaskans for Better Elections collected enough signatures to put Ballot Measure 2 to a vote this November. If passed, this ballot measure would implement several statutory changes, including: 1) "Top four" blanket primaries for state and congressional offices, where all candidates would appear on the same primary ballot and the top-four vote getters would advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation; 2) Ranked choice voting in the choice among four candidates on the November ballot, with write-in candidates permitted; 3) Ranked choice voting in the presidential election among all candidates who have qualified for the ballot and any write-in ca ndidates. See this editorial endorsement for Measure 2 from the Anchorage Daily News.If you live in Alaska, vote YES on Ballot Measure 2. Read a post from our blog.
The city council of Albany, California voted unanimously on June 15 in favor of charter amendment for voters to approve the adoption of the proportional form of ranked choice voting for elections to the city council and school board, which are elected citywide in staggered elections. The ranked choice voting Ballot Measure BB will be decided in November 2020. Albany would be the fifth city in California with ranked choice voting and the fourth city in the country using its proportional, "single transferable vote" form. Voter Choice Albany heads the campaign, and backers include the local East Bay Times in this thoughtful editorial. If you live in Albany, vote YES on Ballot Measure BB. Read a post from our blog.
Update, November 14, 2020: Albany voters approved Measure BB, with its current lead being 73.3% to 26.7%.
The city council of Bloomington, Minnesota voted 6-1 in favor of a charter amendment to go on the November ballot adopting ranked choice voting in elections for mayor and council. If voters approve City Question 3, Bloomington would join three Minnesota cities that already use RCV. For more on the campaign, visit Ranked Choice Voting Bloomington. If you live in Bloomington, vote YES on City Question 3. Read a post from our blog.
Update, November 7, 2020: Bloomington voters approved Question 3 by 51.2%-48.8%.
In August, the Boulder, Colorado city council approved 7-2 to place a charter amendment on the ballot to allow voters to elect their mayor directly with ranked choice voting; currently, the city council selects the mayor. On September 1, the council held a final vote that put Ballot Measure 2E before voters. The campaign in support of the measure is led by Our Mayor, Our Choice. Endorsers include the Boulder Daily Camera in this editorial. If you live in Boulder, vote YES on Ballot Measure 2E. Read a post from our blog.
Update, November 14, 2020: Boulder voters approved Measure 2E by 78.1%-21.9%.
The city council of Eureka, California voted unanimously (5-0) to place a charter amendment on the November ballot to adopt ranked choice voting for electing the mayor and city council. Measure C would replace the current plurality voting system and make Eureka the 5th city in California with ranked choice voting. Yes on C! Ranked Choice Voting for Eureka has a website and Facebook page. If you live in Eureka, vote YES on Measure C. Read a post from our blog.
Update, November 14, 2020: Eureka voters approved Measure C, with the latest tally being 61.5% to 38.5%.
After a multi-year educational campaign led by Voter Choice Massachusetts, an initiative will appear on the ballot as Question 2 that, if passed, would enact a statute to implement ranked choice voting for Massachusetts’ U.S. Senate and U.S House general and primary elections, state primary and general elections, and county offices, beginning in 2022. The initiative is supported by Yes on 2 for Ranked Choice Voting. Supporters include the Boston Globe in this editorial and at least five additional Massachusetts newspapers. If you live in Massachusetts, vote YES on Question 2. Read a post from our blog.
The city council of Minnetonka, Minnesota voted unanimously to place a charter amendment on the November ballot to fold the city's nonpartisan primary elections into a single general election held with ranked choice voting for mayor and city council. If the city ballot question is passed, Minnetonka would join three Minnesota cities that already use RCV. The campaign to pass City Question is led by Ranked Choice Voting Minnetonka. If you live in Minnetonka, vote YES on City Question. Read a post from our blog.
Update, November 14, 2020: Minnetonka voters passed the City Question by 54.7%-45.3%.
Additional notes on 2020 campaigns for RCV:
(1) North Dakota Voter’s First, a grassroots coalition, submitted 36,000 signatures for a ballot initiative that would have enacted several changes, including a "Top Four Primary" with ranked choice voting. It was approved by the Secretary of State, but the North Dakota Supreme Court on August 25th removed it from the ballot because it ruled that petitions should have included the full text of the ballot measure.
(2) Open Primaries Arkansas, a grassroots coalition that gathered sufficient signatures to earn a place on the November ballot, also was deeply disappointed to have its "Top Four Primary" with ranked choice voting struck from the ballot by the Arkansas Supreme Court on procedural grounds involving signature collection.
(3) Several additional cities seriously considered placing ranked choice voting on the ballot and are likely to take action in 2021-22. Other cities are expected to establish RCV for their 2021 elections by an act of the city council.