Ranked Choice Voting

What is ranked choice voting (the instant runoff version)?

Ranked-choice voting allows voters to list candidates in order of preference. There are a few types of ranked choice voting, but we prefer the instant runoff version (or IRV).


Why is this important?

Ranked choice (IRV):

  • Allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.
  • Enables voters to vote their hopes instead of their fears.
  • Gets rid of the so-called third party "spoiler effect."


How does it work?

This video from Fair Vote explains the process in under three minutes:

This flow chart from InstantRunoff.com is also helpful:

Instant Runoff

Who uses this type of voting?

U.S. cities using instant runoff for citywide elections include:

  • San Francisco, CA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • St. Paul, MN
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Portland, ME

In 2016, Maine voted to use it statewide, and will likely implement it June 2018. It will be used in the following state elections:

  • Governor
  • State Senators
  • State Representatives
  • U.S. Senators
  • U.S. Representatives


How can we get ranked choice (instant runoff) statewide in PA?

Come to our next meeting!