Ranked Choice Voting Gains Momentum
Across the nation, more and more states, cities and counties are turning to ranked choice voting to improve today's election process.
US cities using ranked choice voting
Cities looking to reduce election costs, minimize spoiler voting and increase civility and engagement in electoral campaigns have found many of the answers they are looking for by implementing ranked choice voting.
Ranked choice voting is used for local elections in the following U.S. cities, and many more.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- St. Paul, Minnesota
- Telluride, Colorado
- Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Takoma Park, Maryland,
- Portland, Maine
- Santa Fe, New Mexico (see example video below)
- San Francisco, California
- Oakland, California
- San Leandro, California
- Memphis, Tennessee
Ranked choice voting in Utah
In Utah, ranked choice voting has been used in nominations for the Utah Republican Party as well as County Parties.
Increased interest in ranked choice voting
In 2017 alone, 18 Republican state legislators across nine states sponsored legislation that would have implemented ranked choice voting. On March 13, 2018, Utah House Bill 35: Municipal Alternate Voting Methods Pilot Project passed allowing ranked choice voting for municipal elections. The pilot runs from 2019 to 2026.
Positive voter response
As ranked choice voting grows in popularity, more cities are piloting ranked choice elections. In 2018, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and San Francisco, California used ranked choice voting for their mayoral races and saw higher voter turnout and a clear majority winner. New Mexico voters responded positively to using ranked choice voting.
Increased civility in action
Cities that have adopted ranked choice voting have observed more civil campaigning.
- In 2011 Portland, Oregon used a ranked choice voting method for the city's Mayoral election. FairVote.org, an organization that researches election processes and outcomes, found that 41% of survey respondents reported less negative campaigning.
- In another study conducted in November 2013 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 study found that 42% of respondents using ranked choice voting perceived elections as less negative; whereas in traditional elections 28% of respondents perceived elections as less negative.