Tags: Voting Rights | ranked-choice voting | elections

Where Are Ranked-Choice Elections Currently Held?

By    |   Friday, 03 Jul 2015 03:49 PM

Typically when a person enters the voting booth, they vote for one person for each position that is available, but in some places throughout the United States, ranked-choice voting is used.

Ranked-choice voting, also known as instant-runoff voting, allows constituents to vote for their first-, second- and third-choice candidates in case a politician does not receive a majority of the vote, according to the Minneapolis city website.

Ranked-choice voting was first used in the United States in 1912, according to FairVote. Minnesota and Maryland used this form of voting for party primaries. Florida and Indiana used a form of instant-runoff elections for the same purpose as well that year. By the 1930s, primary election reforms had been made, and none were using the system.

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Today, several cities use instant-runoff elections, including the following, according to FairVote.
  • San Francisco, California — Since 2004, this city elects its Board of Supervisors, mayor, city attorney, and major citywide offices with ranked-choice voting. More than 40 elections have used this form of ballot.
  • Berkeley, California — Berkeley used ranked-choice voting for the first time in 2010. It elects mayor, city council members, and other city offices, such as the city auditor.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota — It was first used here in 2009 for electing the mayor, city council, and several other city offices, including multi-seat elections.
  • Oakland, California — It was used first in 2010 for 18 city officers, including mayor and city council.
  • Portland, Maine — Ranked-choice voting was first used in 2011 for electing Portland’s mayor.
  • San Leandro, California — Instant run-off elections were first used in 2010 and are held for mayor and city council members.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota — St. Paul elects its mayor and city council members with ranked-choice voting and has been doing so since 2011.
  • Takoma Park, Maryland — Since 2007, Takoma Park has used ranked-choice voting for elections every two years and some special elections. It is used to select their mayor and city council members.
  • Telluride, Colorado — Mayoral elections have used ranked-choice voting since 2011.
  • Memphis, Tennessee — Memphis is scheduled to use ranked-choice voting for city council and other offices this year.
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico — Santa Fe is expected to elect their mayor with ranked-choice voting ballots.

Additionally, Hendersonville, North Carolina has used RCV in some elections since 2007, but remains under consideration for future elections.

Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Springfield, Illinois use ranked-choice voting for overseas voters.

Ranked-choice voting is an advisory, option, or contingent measure in Ferndale, Michigan; Santa Clara County, California; Sarasota, Florida; and Vancouver, Washington.

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Typically when a person enters the voting booth, they vote for one person for each position that is available, but in some places throughout the United States, ranked-choice voting is used.
ranked-choice voting, elections
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2015-49-03
Friday, 03 Jul 2015 03:49 PM
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