Earlier this month, 20 Utah cities held their municipal elections using ranked choice voting (RCV), as part of a statewide pilot program. This is, by far, the most jurisdictions to ever use ranked choice voting in one state.
How did it go? As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, the verdict is in: resoundingly well. According to a Y2 Analytics survey of 1,995 Utah voters, including nearly 1,500 from cities using RCV for the first time:
- 86% of voters in cities using RCV were satisfied with the voting method
- 81% of voters in cities using RCV said the voting method is easy
- More than two-thirds of voters in cities using RCV said the voting method should be expanded to state elections or at least maintained for cities
- 60% of voters in cities using RCV said they were more likely to vote for their favorite candidate, without worrying about wasting their vote -- as opposed to only 2% who said they were less likely to do so
As Stan Lockhart, Chairman of Utah Ranked Choice Voting, told the Deseret News:
“It’s clear to me that people, the voters, like ranked choice voting. We found that in [the] past, that until you have a ranked choice election, voters are very skeptical, and as soon as they use it, they become converted. And it appears that’s what happened here.”
The Utah pilot is yet another example of ranked choice voting’s popularity among voters -- a key part of why it has become the fastest-growing nonpartisan voting reform in the nation.