How does Ranked Choice Voting address the problems in our current voting system? | Fair Vote Minnesota

How does Ranked Choice Voting address the problems in our current voting system?

Ranked Choice Voting is a simple reform that produces more civil, inclusive, participatory and representative outcomes than the current first-past-the-post system. 

By allowing voters to express their true preferences instead of voting for the “lesser of two evils,” RCV:

  • Eliminates "wasted" votes.
  • Solves the "spoiler" problem and gives voters more choice.
  • Increases voter participation.

By allowing voters to rank their votes, RCV: 

  • Simulates a runoff in a single, cost-effective election ensuring candidates win with the broadest support possible rather than simply being the first to “past the post.”
  • Rolls two elections into one, eliminating the need for low-turnout, costly primaries in local nonpartisan elections and runoffs in state and federal partisan primaries and general elections to ensure majority outcomes. 

By eliminating local nonpartisan primaries, RCV:

  • Reduces the cost of running campaigns and elections.
  • Eliminates the opportunity for a small group of voter to prematurely winnow the field of candidates in a low-turnout, early August primary.
  • Gives voters more choice and an equal voice in a single, high-turnout, diverse election in November.

By leveling the playing field for all candidates, RCV:

  • Opens the political process to new voices.
  • Promotes more diverse political representation.
  • Increases opportunity for traditionally underrepresented communities.

By requiring candidates to seek voters’ second-choice support, RCV:

  • Rewards candidates who appeal to a broad base of voters.
  • Reduces the incentive for candidates to attack their opponents and promotes more civil, issue-oriented campaigns.
  • Results in office-holders who more fully represent the views and desires of a broad swath of voters.
  • Fosters coalition-building and compromise.


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