Marking the Ballot
Counting the Votes
RCV ballots are counted in a series of rounds. First, all the first choices are counted; if any candidate has a majority of votes, (more than 50%) that candidate wins. Otherwise, the last place candidate (the candidate with the fewest 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. If not, again, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and there is another round of counting. Candidates continue to be eliminated after each count until one candidate has won the majority.
Ranked Choice Voting can also be used to elect multiple candidates at a time, such as elections for At-large City Council. For more details, check out this multi-winner RCV example provided by our friends at FairVote.