Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank candidates on the ballot according to their preference - 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. Voters cast their vote for their favorite candidate knowing that if he or she doesn't gather enough votes to win, their vote will count toward their second choice. In a single-winner election, votes cast for the least popular candidate are not "wasted", but rather redistributed to more popular candidates, based on the voters' second choices, until one candidate wins with a majority of votes.
How Ranked Choice Voting Works
Using what we had in our pockets, we made a video that shows how ranked choice voting is an easier and better way to run elections.
What do voters say about ranked ballots?
Minneapolis voters speak after voting on November 5, 2013
Sen. Hayden, Rep. Flanagan and Javier Morillo: Ranked Choice Voting promotes issue-based, inclusive campaigns
The popularity of the idea in Minneapolis and St. Paul's Ward 2 attests to its simplicity and effectiveness as a reform measure.
“To me, the most important potential benefit from Ranked Choice Voting is the profound shift it can make in the tone of our campaigns. Currently, a winning campaign strategy is most often based on driving up your opponent’s negatives, convincing uncommitted voters that your opponent is a bad person whom they should vote against. With RCV, however, it’s bad strategy to trash your opponents too severely since you might need their second place votes. Campaigns would necessarily shift from teaching voters to vote against the hated other side to teaching voters to vote for your candidate and his/her world view.”
Wyman Spano, Director, University of Minnesota-Duluth Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership; Co-founder and editor, Politics in Minnesota
Wayzata, MN (May 23, 2012) -- “It’s just as easy to pass something bold,” state Sen. Terri Bonoff said to a packed room of nearly 150 civic, business, academic, legal and philanthropic leaders May 23, “as it is to pass something with baby steps.” That “something bold” is fundamental democracy reform – specifically, Ranked Choice Voting – and its time has plainly come in Minnesota.
Bonoff, a DFLer, and several other Minnesota political luminaries – including 2010 IP gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner, former Republican U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger, and former Congressman Tim Penny – spoke with participants at FairVote Minnesota’s “Breaking Point: A Panel on Minnesota’s Political Future” about how RCV is our best hope for rebuilding a fractured, polarized democracy.
Once praised as a model of good government, our state is now suffering instability, confusion and stalemate.
The cliche that "politics is a blood sport" has never rung more true. Even in Minnesota, politics has gotten downright uncivil — and citizens are the real victims.
We've both worked in Minnesota politics, having served under two different Republican governors (Al Quie and Tim Pawlenty). It's been our perception — and we know many people across the political spectrum who share it — that demagoguery and divisiveness have been escalating for years. That might be good for purveyors of negative political advertising, but it's bad for the rest of the state: not just in dividual voters, but business and civic institutions as well.