Why bring Ranked Choice Voting to San Diego?

  • Gives voters more choices
  • Creates more competition
  • Promotes more diverse ideas
  • Encourages civil campaigns
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“The one reform to save America.”
- David Brooks

What is Ranked Choice Voting?

A simple change to the ballot that allows voters to rank candidates in order of choice. Those rankings ensure that as many voters as possible will help elect a candidate they support. There's no longer a need to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Sample RCV Ballots

Why Rank Four Candidates?

Half as many voters participate in primaries. Special interests have more influence in the primary. Yet, viable candidates get eliminated in the primary.

Two Candidates

The current system eliminates all but two candidates during low-turnout primaries, leaving voters with just two choices in November.

Four Candidates

Ranking four candidates is simple, fair, and easy! Our proposal would move four candidates onto the general election, instead of two, so voters can easily rank their options in the general election.

Many Candidates

Too many candidates can cause voters to feel confused, overwhelmed, or discouraged from completing their rankings.

HOW IT WORKS | Simple. Fair. And Easy.

  • In San Diego, the nonpartisan primary will remain exactly the same except four candidates, instead of two, will advance to the general election.
  • In the general election, you can still vote for only one candidate as you currently do OR you can rank candidates in order of preference.
  • If a candidate wins a majority (over 50%) among the first-choice votes, that candidate is the winner.
  • If no candidate gets 50.1% or more, the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated. 
  • If this eliminated candidate was your first choice, then your vote automatically goes to your second choice!
  • This process continues until one candidate receives a majority of the final votes.
  • Results in winners always being supported by a majority of voters.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What elections will this effect?

The top-four primary would give voters more choices for City Attorney, Mayor, and City Council.

What is Ranked Choice Voting?

An election method that allows voters to rank candidates in order of choice. Those rankings ensure that as many voters as possible will help elect a candidate they support.

Can I give candidates the same ranking?

No. If a voter gives more than one candidate the same ranking, the vote cannot be counted. Only one candidate can represent the voter's first, second, or third choice.

Must I rank four candidates for each office?

No. A voter may (but is not required to) rank three choices for each office. If there are fewer than three candidates for the same office, or to rank fewer than three candidates, you may leave any remaining columns blank.

Will there be a subsequent run-off? 

No, Ranked-Choice Voting eliminates the need for run-off elections

Download the FAQ
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