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How RCV Is Counted

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In Ranked Choice Voting, voters rank as many candidates as they want in order of preference. If any candidate has a majority (more than half) of the first preference votes, then that candidate is elected. Otherwise the RCV process builds a majority by eliminating the weakest candidates and transferring ballots cast for the eliminated candidate to the voters’ next preference.

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Marking the Ballot

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]For voters, Ranked Choice Voting is literally as easy as 1, 2, 3. Just rank your choices in order of preference. This sample ballot shows a voter who preferred Alice first, Carol second, and Bob third.[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”50″ height_on_tabs=”50″ height_on_tabs_portrait=”50″ height_on_mob_landscape=”20″ height_on_mob=”20″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”12975″ img_size=”full”][ultimate_spacer height=”50″ height_on_tabs=”50″ height_on_tabs_portrait=”50″ height_on_mob_landscape=”20″ height_on_mob=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1576543539486{padding-right: 10{bbf28f31b6e2971a5566e26dd113efb97bf29a6482bf65401c3890d19afd953c} !important;padding-left: 10{bbf28f31b6e2971a5566e26dd113efb97bf29a6482bf65401c3890d19afd953c} !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][ultimate_spacer height=”50″ height_on_tabs=”50″ height_on_tabs_portrait=”50″ height_on_mob_landscape=”20″ height_on_mob=”20″][vc_single_image image=”12976″ img_size=”full”][ultimate_spacer height=”50″ height_on_tabs=”50″ height_on_tabs_portrait=”50″ height_on_mob_landscape=”20″ height_on_mob=”20″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css_animation=”bottom-to-top” css=”.vc_custom_1576543952944{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”]

Counting the Votes

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RCV ballots are counted in a series of rounds, as shown in the the flowchart to the right and the video below. First, all the first choices are counted, and if any candidate has a majority (more than half) the votes, that candidate wins. Otherwise, the last place candidate (the candidate with the fewest number of votes) is eliminated, and any votes cast for that candidate are transferred to the voter’s next preference (if the voter chose to rank more candidates). After each round of counting, we check again to see if any candidate has won a majority. Otherwise another candidate is eliminated and there is another round of counting.

Here is a video demonstration of the count:

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Counting Multi-Winner Races

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Ranked Choice Voting can also be used to elect multiple candidates at a time, such as elections for At-large City Councilor. For more details, check out this multi-winner RCV example provided by our friends at FairVote and the following video:[/vc_column_text][ultimate_spacer height=”50″ height_on_tabs=”50″ height_on_tabs_portrait=”50″ height_on_mob_landscape=”20″ height_on_mob=”20″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][ultimate_spacer height=”50″ height_on_tabs=”50″ height_on_tabs_portrait=”50″ height_on_mob_landscape=”20″ height_on_mob=”20″][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/lNxwMdI8OWw”][ultimate_spacer height=”50″ height_on_tabs=”50″ height_on_tabs_portrait=”50″ height_on_mob_landscape=”20″ height_on_mob=”20″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row” bg_type=”bg_color” bg_color_value=”#ffc500″ css=”.vc_custom_1576607027899{padding-top: 100px !important;padding-bottom: 100px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]