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. Multi-winner RCV was invented in the 1850s, as a proportional representation system to be used in multi-winner elections. In the 1870s, it was adapted to the single-winner form. It is sometimes referred to as “instant runoff voting," “preferential voting,” "proportional representation," "single transferable vote" and a number of other names.  Download information below in PDF format.


Current Use in U.S. Elections

 

City, State Year Adopted Election Contest Multi- and/or Single-Winner RCV Resource Folder

Berkeley, California

2004 (first use 2010) Mayor, City Council, City Auditor  Single-Winner Berkeley & Alameda County Resources
Cambridge, Massachusetts 1941  City Council, School Board  Multi-Winner Cambridge Resources

Eastpointe, Michigan

2019 City Council Multi-Winner  

Las Cruces, New Mexico

2018 (first use 2019) City Elections Single-Winner  

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, Minnesota 2006  Mayor, City Council, Park Board, Tax Board Single- and Multi-Winner Minneapolis Resources

Oakland, California

2006 (first use 2010) Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, City Auditor, School Director Single-Winner Oakland & Alameda County Resources

Payson, Utah

2018 (first use 2019) City Elections Single-Winner and Sequential IRV  

Portland, Maine

2010  Mayor  Single-Winner Portland Resources
San Francisco, California 2002 Mayor, City Attorney, Board of Supervisors, Sheriff, District Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, and Public Defender Single-Winner San Francisco Resources
San Leandro, California 2009 (first use 2010)  Mayor, City Council  Single-Winner San Leandro & Alameda County Resources

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Passed 2008 (first use 2018) Mayor, City Council, Municipal Judge Single-Winner Santa Fe Resources

St. Louis Park, Minnesota

2018 (first use 2019) Mayor, City Council Single-Winner  

St. Paul, Minnesota

2009 Mayor, City Council  Single-Winner St. Paul Resources
Takoma Park, Maryland 2006  Mayor, City Council  Single-Winner Takoma Park Resources

Telluride, Colorado

2008  Mayor  Single-Winner Telluride Resources

Vineyard, Utah

2018 (first use 2019) City Elections Single-Winner  

States with Local Option Laws

City, State Year Adopted Election Contest Multi- and/or Single-Winner RCV Resource Folder

Colorado

2018 (first use 2019) Mayor, City Council Single-and Multi-Winner  

New Mexico

2018 (first use 2019) City Elections Single-Winner  

Utah

2018 (first use 2019) City Elections Single-Winner and Sequential IRV  

 

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, Illinois 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, Massachusetts 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, Colorado Passed 2002, Not Yet Necessary in a Race Mayor Single-Winner Basalt Resources
Carbondale, Colorado Passed 2002, Not Yet Necessary in a Race Mayor Single-Winner  
Davis, California Advisory Vote 2006, No RCV Law Yet in Place City Council Multi-Winner  
Easthampton, Massachusetts 2019, Use Beginning 2021 City Elections Single-Winner  
Ferndale, Michigan Passed 2004, Pending Implementation Mayor, City Council Single-Winner  
New York City, New York 2019, Use Beginning 2021 City Primaries and Special Elections Single-Winner  
Memphis, Tennessee Passed 2008, Pending Implementation City Elections Single-Winner Memphis Resources
Santa Clara County, California Advisory Vote 1998, No RCV Law Yet in Place Board of Supervisors Single-Winner  
Sarasota, Florida Passed 2007, Pending Implementation City Commission Single-Winner Sarasota Resources
Vancouver, Washington 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, Michigan Adopted 1974, Repealed 1976 Mayor Single-Winner  
Aspen, Colorado Adopted 2007, Repealed 2010 Mayor; Two City Council Seats Single-Winner  
Burlington, Vermont Adopted 2005, Repealed 2010 Mayor Single-Winner Burlington Resources
Cary, North Carolina Pilot Program in 2007, 2009, Pilot sunset in 2011 City Elections Single-Winner Cary Resources
Hendersonville, North Carolina 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, Washington 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
United Kingdom Various All Directly Elected Mayoral Elections Modified Single-Winner International Resources

connect