Ranked choice voting (RCV) is a voting system that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, rather than simply choosing a single candidate. In an RCV election, voters rank the candidates in order of preference, such as first choice, second choice, third choice, and so on.
If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and the votes for that candidate are redistributed to the remaining candidates based on the voters’ second-choice preferences. This process of eliminating the candidate with the fewest votes and redistributing their votes continues until one candidate receives a majority of the votes.
RCV is often used in elections with multiple candidates, such as in municipal or mayoral elections, and can be used for primary or general elections. Proponents of RCV argue that it promotes greater voter choice and encourages candidates to campaign more positively and build broader coalitions. Critics of RCV argue that it can be confusing for voters and may not produce the most representative outcome.