Ranked Choice Voting

[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” parallax=”content-moving-fade” bg_attachment=”scroll” css=”.vc_custom_1543603749789{padding-top: 150px !important;padding-bottom: 150px !important;background-image: url(http://betterutah.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/element5-digital-1126225-unsplash.jpg?id=13356) !important;background-position: center;background-repeat: no-repeat;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” content_placement=”top” css=”.vc_custom_1478009043909{padding-top: 100px !important;padding-bottom: 100px !important;background-color: #282828 !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”Ranked Choice Voting” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:60|text_align:right|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1543603316626{margin-top: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Normally when we vote, we simply choose the candidate that we would like to see win. But do you feel that sometimes you don’t like either one? Or that you are fine with either candidate winning? Ranked choice voting, sometimes called “instant run-off voting” solves this problem by allowing voters to indicate their preferences on any or all of the candidates in a race, with the most widely preferred candidate winning the election. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”64px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”How Does Ranked Choice Voting Work?” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:right” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text]For voters, ranked choice voting is simple — you rank candidates in your preferred order. You can rank as many candidates as you would like. If you don’t believe a candidate should win, you don’t have to rank them, but you can also rank every candidate if you prefer.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”13357″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Counting the votes is a little more complicated, but not for you because you already turned in your ballot!

At first, every “first-choice” vote is counted. If any candidate received over 50% of the votes, then they win. If no candidate has over 50%, as happens in many elections, then it goes into an “instant run-off.” The candidate who has the least amount of votes is eliminated. However, any voter who chose that candidate as their first preference then has their “second choice” votes counted. So even if your preferred candidate loses, your vote still counts if you ranked more candidates!

After the first elimination and re-distribution, if any candidate now has over 50% of the votes, they win. If not, the candidate who now has the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and all those who had their votes counted for the candidate are then re-distributed according to their next choice.

This repeats until a candidate has over 50% of the vote!

If you’re more of a visual learner, here is a quick two-minute video from KQED explaining how ranked choice voting works in San Francisco:[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P10PFuBFVL8″ el_width=”70″ el_aspect=”43″ align=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_separator][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”Why Use Ranked Choice Voting?” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:right” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text]We admit that ranked choice voting is more confusing than our current elections where you simply choose the one candidate you want to win. However, ranked choice voting has many benefits:

Majority Support

In the 2016 election, Donald Trump won Utah’s electoral without a majority of Utahns voting for him. Many Utahns voted for the third-party candidate, Evan McMullin. Other Utahns voted for Donald Trump even though he may not have been their preferred choice – he was just better than the other major candidate, in their opinion.

Under ranked choice voting and its instant run-off system, a winner is only selected once a candidate has received over 50% of the votes. This ensures that officials are always elected having the majority of support from the people they represent. It also eliminates the need for strategic voting. You don’t have to vote for the lesser of two evils. You vote for the candidates you prefer.

Diverse Choices

Under ranked choice voting, candidates and voters don’t have to worry about “splitting” the ticket. Additionally, those from minority parties and historically under-represented communities have a greater chance of winning. Areas that have used ranked choice voting have shown that officials become more diverse and representative under this system.

Positive Campaigning

Too often, campaigns are centered around why you should not vote for the other candidate. Under ranked choice voting, candidates are instead incentivized to run a positive campaign focused on their attributes. Even if a candidate can’t get your “first choice” vote, they still want your “second choice” vote because it could be what tips them over the winning line in an instant run-off. So candidates still have to connect with their opponents’ voters, rather than vilifying the opposing side.

Greater Efficiency

Ranked choice voting can eliminate primaries and run-off elections, accomplishing there purposes during a single instant run-off election. This results in taxpayers saving money by eliminating the administration of a costly election. And it results in less money being spent on costly campaigns.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_separator][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”Where is Ranked Choice Voting Used?” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:right” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text]The Utah Republican Party has used ranked choice voting in the past to nominate candidates in its conventions and to fill legislative vacancies. In fact, for Utah Governor Jon Huntsman was nominated in the 2004 Utah GOP Convention by ranked choice voting. During the 2018 General Session of the Utah State Legislature, lawmakers passed a pilot program allowing municipalities to use ranked choice voting during the 2019 municipal elections. At this time, there haven’t been any cities that have passed a resolution to participate in the pilot program.

Nationally, ranked choice voting has been used for decades in cities in California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Mexico. San Francisco adopted the system for its municipal elections in 2002 and has been successfully electing its officials this way since 2004. Maine used ranked choice voting in 2018 for all state and federal primary elections.

Internationally, ranked choice voting is used to elect some or all of its officials in Australia, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and London.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_separator][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”Where Can I Learn More? ” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:right” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text]FairVote


Lawrence Lessig, Ranked Choice Voting worked in Maine. Now we should use it in presidential races.USA Today, Nov. 16, 2018

Lee Davidson, GOP leader Nelson seeks election overhaulThe Salt Lake Tribune, June 20, 2011

Robert Gerkhe, Would ranking candidates work better than head-to-head elections? Let’s give it a shot and see., The Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 23, 2018[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][vc_separator][vc_empty_space height=”16px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_custom_heading text=”How Can I Get Involved? ” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:right” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space height=”30px”][vc_column_text]Contact your city councilman and encourage them to support using ranked choice voting! Cities need to decide by the end of 2018 whether they will use ranked choice voting as their election system in 2019. Many city councilmembers have expressed hesitation because they haven’t been contacted by any constituents who want to use the measure. So call or email them today![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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