What is RCV?
With ranked-choice voting, voters rank their preferred candidates in order. If one candidate gets more than half of first-choice ballots cast, they win (just like any other election). If no one has earned that broad amount of support, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and those who chose that candidate as their first choice will then have their second choice votes counted. This process continues until a candidate wins with a majority vote (50% + 1).
In other words, if no candidate running for election in Jacksonville's municipal elections wins a majority of the vote after the first round, you don't have to wait two months for a chance to cast a vote for your second choice (like we do now). With RCV, it was already made the first time you voted!
Major Benefits of RCV:
- Cost savings for the City of Jacksonville (the taxpayers) by not having to hold more than one round of voting
- Who doesn't want a shorter campaign season? Candidates don't have to continue raising money or contacting voters for another two months
- No more "spoiler effect!" If you really like a non-party or minor party candidate, but normally wouldn't vote for them because you're afraid of wasting your vote, you can put them as your first choice and still list someone from a main party as your second choice. This might also be described as eliminating the need to make a "lesser of two evils" decision
- RCV has been shown to result in more issue-focused campaigning and less negative/personal campaign tactics.
- Ensures candidates with the broadest support among voters win elections and makes certain that no candidate with less than a majority vote earns the opportunity to be your public servant
- Helps combat the growing partisan divide
- Exemplifies the principle of majority rule, thereby lending greater legitimacy to election outcomes
- Increases positive competition without fear of similar candidates splitting votes
Need a better visual? Check out the short video below!
Where is RCV Currently Used?
If you would like to read more about RCV, check out the great materials our friends at FairVote have put together. We encourage you to do your own research as well. There are many resources readily available to all. We are here if you have any questions or would like to discuss it further, so please don't hesitate to contact us!