A request for proposal, or RFP, specifies the needs of a jurisdiction that a voting system manufacturer will have to meet to be considered for a bid. The following is a simple, single-paragraph description of RCV-readiness that can be included in an RFP to ensure voting systems allow for ranked choice voting. Additionally, a sample of the referenced appendix is below. If your jurisdiction adopts a statute describing RCV, that statute should be appended to the RFP.
When jurisdictions post RFPs for any new voting equipment, including language for a system to be RCV-ready ensures that capability whether or not RCV has been adopted by the jurisdiction at the time of the RFP.
Sample Minimum RFP Language for RCV: Single Paragraph
The system shall be ready by [DATE], with all necessary certified hardware and software to implement ranked choice voting that allows voters to mark and have their ballots recorded according to the specific needs of ranked choice voting methods as described in Appendix XX. The system shall allow voters to give a unique ranking to at least three (3) candidates, and it shall be ready to produce and use ballots containing both ranked choice contests and vote-for-one or vote-for-up-to-N contests and ballot questions on the same ballot card. The system must be able to resolve, according to the methods described in Appendix XX, ballots that give more than one candidate the same ranking, skip rankings, or give multiple rankings to the same candidate. The voting system should report a contest cast vote record for each contest showing every choice or ranking made by each voter on his/her ballot, and export these records as digitized images or in a common database format, such as a comma delimited text file, that can be tabulated according to the voting method algorithm of the jurisdiction by the system as well as by independent software that can read such files. Additionally, it shall be able to tabulate the results internally, or using an interoperable third party tabulation module, according to the specific needs of ranked choice voting methods as described in Appendix XX.