Where Ranked Choice Voting is Used

Ranked choice voting (RCV) is a proven voting method that has been used for major elections in the U.S. and other countries for over a century.  RCV was invented in the United States by an MIT professor in 1870. It is sometimes referred to as “instant runoff voting” or “preferential voting.”

Current Use in U.S. Elections

City, State Year Adopted Election Contest Multi- and/or Single-Winner RCV? Resource Folder
Berkeley, CA 2004  Mayor, City Council, City Auditor  Single-Winner Berkeley & Alameda County Resources
Cambridge, MA 1941  City Council, School Board  Multi-Winner Cambridge Resources
Maine Passed 2016 (first use 2018) U.S. House and Senate Primary and General Elections, Statewide and State Assembly Primaries Single-Winner Maine Resources
Minneapolis, MN 2006  Mayor, City Council, Park Board, Tax Board Single- and Multi-Winner Minneapolis Resources
Oakland, CA 2006  Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, City Auditor, School Director Single-Winner Oakland & Alameda County Resources
Portland, ME 2010  Mayor  Single-Winner Portland Resources
San Francisco, CA 2002  Mayor, City Attorney, Board of Supervisors, Sheriff, District Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, and Public Defender Single-Winner San Francisco Resources
San Leandro, CA 2000 (first use 2010)  Mayor, City Council  Single-Winner San Leandro & Alameda County Resources
Santa Fe, NM Passed 2008 (first use 2018) Mayor, City Council, Municipal Judge Single-Winner Santa Fe Resources
St. Paul, MN 2009 Mayor, City Council  Single-Winner St. Paul Resources
Takoma Park, MD 2006  Mayor, City Council  Single-Winner Takoma Park Resources
Telluride, CO 2008  Mayor  Single-Winner Telluride Resources


Military and Overseas Voting


State Year Adopted Election Contest Notes Resource Folder
Arkansas 2005 Federal Runoffs; Local Runoffs Adopted via Statute UOCAVA Resources
Alabama 2013 All Federal runoffs Adopted by Court Order UOCAVA Resources
Louisiana Early 1990s State and Federal General Election Runoffs Also includes out of state military voters living in United States UOCAVA Resources
Mississippi Mid 2000s Federal Runoffs Adopted to deter Department of Justice Suit UOCAVA Resources
South Carolina 2006 State and Federal Runoffs   UOCAVA Resources
Springfield, IL 2007 Local, State, Federal Runoffs First used in 2011 UOCAVA Resources


Future Use in U.S. Elections


City, State Year Adopted/Anticipated Election Contest Notes Resource Folder
Amherst, MA Passed 2018, Use Beginning 2021 Town Council Multi-Winner  
Benton County, Oregon Passed 2016, Use Beginning 2020 Countywide Elections Single-Winner Benton County Resources
Basalt, CO Passed 2002, Not Yet Necessary in a Race Mayor Single-Winner Basalt Resources
Carbondale, CO Passed 2002, Not Yet Necessary in a Race Mayor Single-Winner  
Davis, CA Advisory Vote 2006, No RCV Law Yet in Place City Council Multi-Winner  
Ferndale, MI Passed 2004, Pending Implementation Mayor, City Council Single-Winner  
Las Cruces, NM Passed 2018, Use Beginning 2019 City Elections Single-Winner  
Memphis, TN Passed 2008, Pending Implementation City Elections Single-Winner Memphis Resources
Saint Louis Park, MN Passed 2018, Use Beginning 2019 City Elections Single-Winner  
Santa Clara County, CA Advisory Vote 1998, No RCV Law Yet in Place Board of Supervisors Single-Winner  
Sarasota, FL Passed 2007, Pending Implementation City Commission Single-Winner Sarasota Resources
Vancouver, WA Advisory Vote 1999, No RCV Law Yet in Place Any city elections Single-Winner  


Past Use in U.S. Elections


City, State Year Adopted/Repealed Election Contest Notes Resource Folder
Ann Arbor, MI Adopted 1974, Repealed 1976 Mayor Single-Winner  
Aspen, CO Adopted 2007, Repealed 2010 Mayor; Two City Council Seats Single-Winner  
Burlington, VT Adopted 2005, Repealed 2010 Mayor Single-Winner Burlington Resources
Cary, NC Pilot Program in 2007, 2009, Pilot sunset in 2011 City Elections Single-Winner Cary Resources
Hendersonville, NC Pilot Program in 2007, 2009, 2011, Pilot sunset in 2011 City Elections Single-Winner Hendersonville Resources
North Carolina Used in 2010, Repealed as part of election code overhaul in 2013 Judicial Vacancy Elections (County- and State-Wide) Single-Winner North Carolina Resources
Pierce County, WA Adopted 2006; Replaced with Top Two in 2009 County Offices Single-Winner  


Ranked Choice Voting in Other Countries


Country Year Adopted Election Contest Notes Resource Folder
Australia 1918; 1948 Senate, House of Representatives, State Assembly Elections Single-Winner for House; Multi-Winner for Senate; Both Used at State Level International Resources
Fiji 1999 Parliament Single-winner. Used in 1999, 2001, and 2006. Now using a closed party list form of proportional representation.  Research paper on RCV in Fiji
Malta 1921 Parliament; Local Government; EU Parliament Multi-Winner  
New Zealand 1992 Local Health Boards; Some Local Councils Multi-Winner  
Northern Ireland 1921 (Parliament of Northern Ireland); 1973 (local elections); 1979 (EU parliament) Local Elections; National Assembly; EU Parliament Multi-Winner International Resources
Papua New Guinea 2007 Parliament Single-winner  
Republic of Ireland 1921 Parliament; President; Local Elections; EU Parliament Single- (President) and Multi-Winner (all other elections)  
Scotland 2007 Local Council Elections Multi-Winner International Resources
UK Various All Directly Elected Mayoral Elections Modified Single-Winner International Resources