Every Vote Counts
Ranked Choice Voting eliminates vote splitting, vote wasting and the spoiler effect.
Eliminations determine true majority winner
Utah's current election system allows candidates to be elected into office without receiving a true majority (over 50%) of the vote.
Ranked choice voting ensures a true majority winner. The candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated in each round. When a voter's candidate is eliminated, second choice votes are included in the next round. This continues until the final round. By the final round, votes are distributed between the final two candidates resulting in a clear majority winner.
Votes count until final round
Every voter gets to have their vote counted in the final round. Even if a voter's first choice option is eliminated early on, the second and third choice options are included in subsequent rounds. In the final round, voters still get a say on who wins the election.
The "spoiler effect" occurs when a third candidate appears to have drawn votes away from a candidate who is preferred by most voters, causing that candidate to lose in a closely contested race.
So if the top two candidates are only 2% apart, the candidate with 6% of the vote ends up taking away votes from the top two candidates skewing the results.
Ranked choice voting fixes the problem by eliminating the candidates with the lowest number of votes from the final result while including voter’s 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choices. So if a voter’s top choice is eliminated, they can still choose where their vote is counted in runoffs between other candidates.
"Spoiler" case studies
The case studies below give examples of elections where a candidate "spoiled" the vote leading to a non-majority win.