where used exp

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-Seat RCV?
Basalt, CO 2002 Mayor Single-Seat
Berkeley, CA 2004  Mayor, City Council, Other City Offices  Single-Seat 
Cambridge, MA 1941  City Council, School Board  Multi-Seat 
Minneapolis, MN 2006  Mayor, City Council, Park Board, Other City Offices  Single- and Multi-Seat
Oakland, CA 2006  Mayor, City Council, 16 other city offices Single-Seat 
Portland, ME 2010  Mayor  Single-Seat 
San Francisco, CA 2002  Mayor, City Attorney, Board of Supervisors, five other citywide offices  Single-Seat 
San Leandro, CA 2000 (first use 2010)  Mayor, City Council  Single-Seat 
St. Paul, MN 2009 Mayor, City Council  Single-Seat 
Takoma Park, MD 2006  Mayor, City Council  Single-Seat 
Telluride, CA 2008  Mayor  Single-Seat 


Military and Overseas Voting


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


Past or Future Use in U.S. Elections


City, State Year Adopted/Anticipated Election Contest Notes
Davis, CA Passed 2006, Awaiting State-Level Approval City Council Multi-Seat
Ferndale, MI Passed 2004, Adoption Unclear Mayor, City Council Single-Seat
Memphis, TN Passed 2008/Adoption 2018 City Elections Single-Seat
Santa Clara County, CA Passed 1998, Awaiting State Level Approval Board of Supervisors Single-Seat
Santa Fe, NM Passed 2008, Adoption 2018 Mayor, City Council, Municipal Judge Single-Seat
Sarasota, FL Passed 2007, Adoption 2018 City Commission Single-Seat
Vancouver, WA Passed 1999, Adoption Unclear Any city elections Single-Seat
Aspen, CO Adopted 2007, Repealed 2010 Mayor; Two City Council Seats Single-Seat
Burlington, VT Adopted 2005, Repealed 2010 Mayor Single-Seat
Cary, NC Pilot Program in 2007, 2009 City Elections Single-Seat
Hendersonville, NC Pilot Program in 2007, 2009, 2011 City Elections Single-Seat
Pierce County, WA Adopted 2006; Replaced with Top Two in 2009 County Offices Single-Seat


Ranked Choice Voting in Other Countries


Country Year Adopted Election Contest Notes
Australia 1918; 1948 Senate, House of Representatives, State Assembly Elections Single-Seat for House; Multi-Seat for Senate; Both Used at State Level
Malta 1921 Parliament; Local Government; EU Parliament Multi-Seat
New Zealand 1992 Local Health Boards; Some Local Councils Multi-Seat
Northern Ireland 1921 (Parliament of Northern Ireland); 1973 (local elections); 1979 (EU parliament) Local Elections; National Assembly; EU Parliament Multi-Seat
Republic of Ireland 1921 Parliament; President; Local Elections; EU Parliament Single- (President) and Multi-Seat (all other elections)
Scotland 2007 Local Council Elections Multi-Seat
UK Various All Directly Elected Mayoral Elections Modified Single-Seat