For the first time, the Nevada caucuses implemented ranked choice voting (RCV) in its successful early voting process—prompting Vox to label RCV a “winner” of the caucuses.
In the Vox piece, 3 winners and 2 losers from the Nevada caucuses, author Dylan Scott details how the Nevada Democratic Party utilized RCV during early voting to allow voters to rank their preferences in a process designed to mimic the realignment phase of the caucus.
The early voting period, in which nearly 75,000 Nevadans cast ballots, helped make the caucuses more accessible to voters, leading to a 16,000 person overall increase in turnout over 2016.
A vast majority (more than 99.5 percent) of Nevada early voters correctly ranked the mandatory three slots on their ballots, indicating that Nevadan voters are ready to rank. In fact, Washington Post columnist Stephen Stromberg expressed this sentiment in a recent editorial, where he called for Nevada to move toward a RCV primary in the future.
In any case, RCV helped contribute to the overwhelmingly high turnout of the early voting period, giving voters greater voice, choice, and access to the process. It’s clear, then, why RCV was a winner—and why it will continue to “win” as several other states (Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, and Wyoming) use the method to in their primaries.