Fair Vote found that 41% of survey respondents reported less negative campaigning after a ranked choice voting election for the mayor of Portland in 2011.
In a study conducted by Western Washington University and the University of Iowa, only 5% of voters felt that there was a “great deal” of criticism in the ranked choice voting campaign in contrast to regular elections where 25% of voters reported a “great deal” of criticism.
The same survey found that cities with ranked choice voters reported that 42% of voters perceived elections as less negative compared to cities without ranked choice that reported 28% of voters perceived elections as less negative.
Reducing the perception of negativity in elections can help improve voter’s attitude toward voting and ideally lead to an increased voter turnout.
Also, as candidates try to recruit second and third choice voters they will be less likely to engage in negative behavior and attacks on other candidates because the person they are attacking may be a potential voter’s first candidates.