Voices & Choices

RCV Day Shows Energy Behind Ranked Choice Voting

RCV Day Shows Energy Behind Ranked Choice Voting

On January 23, 2022, Americans in every region of the country celebrated Ranked Choice Voting Day (Get it? It’s 1/23). They mobilized to increase awareness of ranked choice voting (RCV), a simple yet impactful upgrade to our elections that allows voters to pick their true favorite candidates rather than vote ‘strategically,’ which incentivizes candidates to reach out to more people on the campaign trail.

By all accounts, the day was a striking success. Dozens of events were held, from ‘Rank My Beer’ elections in Colorado and Delaware, to a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’ by the California RCV Coalition. These new, innovative ways to spread the word about better elections will carry on well past RCV Day.

To cap it all off, a celebratory Zoom call hosted by Rank The Vote and FairVote recapped the day’s events and featured some special guests. Representative Dean Phillips, lead sponsor of the Voter Choice Act in the House of Representatives, spoke about his personal journey of going from an RCV skeptic to one of its biggest supporters.

“My mission is to find common ground, restore respect and decency in Congress, and I’ve discovered that the most expeditious way to do so is to encourage ranked choice voting. It rewards the candidates with the most broad appeal.” - Rep. Dean Phillips

Cynthia Richie Terrell, the founder of RepresentWomen, talked about RCV’s promise as a way to make elections more equitable for women candidates.

“Women hold 42 percent of mayoral seats in jurisdictions with ranked choice voting, and just 25 percent of seats in non-RCV cities… Ranked choice voting helps women by eliminating split votes, increasing civility, increasing issue-focus and making campaigns more affordable.” - Cynthia Richie Terrell

Former Utah Republican Party Chair Stan Lockhart spoke on behalf of his group, Utah RCV, highlighting that “approximately 40 percent of all Utah voters used RCV in their municipal elections,” and most voters liked it. His comments came as legislation to adopt RCV statewide has been introduced by two Republicans in the Utah legislature.

FairVote CEO Rob Richie discussed the thrilling success that RCV has seen in recent years, as well as where it goes from here. He noted that in the last six years, “we’ve had two states go to ranked choice voting – Maine and Alaska – using it in all their big federal races… [and] we’re really making headway with legislatures.”

Whether it’s RCV Day or any other time of year, there is no shortage of ways to get involved in the ranked choice voting movement. One of the most direct options is to join a state or local RCV group by viewing the list here. As FairVote Action Board Member Andrew Yang said in a special RCV Day message: 

“Take it from a guy who lost a ranked choice voting contest: RCV is the best. It’s the future. And we have to go bring this message to our fellow Americans, because they are waiting for it. They really are hungry for it.” - Andrew Yang


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