Ranked Choice Voting

What is Ranked Choice Voting?

Ranked choice voting or “Instant Run-Off Voting” allows voters to rank all of the candidates in order of preference when marking their ballots. Ranked choice voting eliminates the need for run-off elections.

 

How do I mark the ranked choice voting ballot?

The ranked choice ballot card is designed in a side-by-side column format and lists the names of all of the candidates. This format allows a voter to select a first-choice candidate in the first column, a second-choice candidate in the second column, continuing until the voter is done ranking their preferred choices.

 

How are ranked choice votes counted?

With ranked choice voting, if a candidate receives a majority (50%+1) of the first-choice votes cast for that office, that candidate will be elected. However, if no candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes cast, an elimination process begins. The candidate who received the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. Next, the voters whose first choice was cast for the eliminated candidate will have their second-choice vote cast in the second round. This elimination process will continue until one candidate receives a majority and is deemed the winner.

 

What if there are two open seats?

In an election with two open seats, such as a city council election, to elect the second seat, the second-choice vote of each voter whose vote was counted for a candidate already declared a winner will be counted for the second seat. The firs-choice vote of all other voters will be counted for the second seat. Rounds will continue until a second candidate has received more than half of the votes. 

 

If I really want my first-choice candidate to win, should I rank the candidate as my first, second and third choice?

No. Ranking a candidate more than once does not benefit the candidate. If a voter ranks one candidate as the voter's first, second and third choice, it is the same as if the voter leaves the second or third choice blank. In other words, if the candidate is eliminated, that candidate is no longer eligible to receive second or third choice votes.

 

Can I give candidates the same ranking?

No. If a voter gives more than one candidate the same ranking, the vote cannot be counted. Only one candidate can represent the voter's first, second, etc., choice.

 

Can I write a candidate’s name on my ballot in any column?

Yes. In elections where there are qualified write-in candidates, there is a space provided to write in a name. Only qualified write-in candidates can receive votes.

 

Does my vote still count if I only select one choice?

Yes. Your vote will count for your one choice.

 

What if I have further questions?

If you have further questions about ranked choice voting, please call the Vineyard City Recorder at 385-338-5183, or the Utah County Elections Office at 801-851-8128.