Why is RCV a better way to vote?

Answer

Ranked choice voting is a better way to vote than our current winner-take-all system because it:

  • Promotes majority support
    • More than half of all voters will select the winner with one of their choices.
  • Encourages positive campaigning
    • In addition to campaigning for 1st choice votes, candidates also compete to be the 2nd or even 3rd choice of their opponents’ supporters which disincentivizes negative campaigning.
  • Provides more choice for voters
    • RCV encourages more candidates to run because they don’t have to worry about taking away votes from a similar candidate or waiting for “their turn.” This inherently promotes diversity of political viewpoints as well as diversity of backgrounds, beliefs, and demographics 
  • Allows voters to vote for their preferred candidate
    • Voters are able to cast their first-choice vote for a candidate they like the most rather than voting against the candidate they oppose the most. In addition, voters can vote for their first-choice candidate without fear of “vote splitting” or throwing away their vote. 
  • Saves tax dollars

RCV eliminates the need for separate, expensive runoff elections because it is designed to produce a winner who receives a majority of support in a single election.

For example, the 2019 Chicago mayoral runoff election cost taxpayers $3.4 million dollars. This cost would not have been incurred with RCV because the runoff would have occurred instantly in the general election. This is why RCV is sometimes referred to as “instant-runoff voting.”