Ranked Choice Voting Increases Voter Turnout

Ranked Choice Voting increases voter turnout. Giving voters the opportunity to support their ideal candidate gives them an incentive to participate in the election process without feeling like their vote would be wasted, moving away from the idea that one vote will not make a difference and reinforcing the idea that every vote matters. 

SOURCE: Fairvote. 2022. Data on Ranked Choice Voting.

Ranked Choice Voting caused a 9.6 point increase in turnout in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Eamon McGinn of the University of Technology Sydney finds that the effect on turnout is higher for precincts with higher poverty rates.

SOURCE: McGinn, E. July 2020. Rating Rankings: Effect of Instant Run-off Voting on Participation and Civility.

Ranked Choice Voting has the power to improve diversity among candidates and elected officials. The following report by Fairvote looks at the nationwide growth of Ranked Choice Voting in 2021 and serves as evidence that Ranked Choice Voting is the fastest-growing election reform in the country. 

SOURCE: Fairvote. January 2022. Ranked Choice Voting in 2021: A Year-End Review.  

Ranked Choice Voting comes with various benefits for candidates and voters of color. Among these, voters of color tend to rank more options than white voters. Ranking encourages voters of color to participate in the election process knowing that their participation will make a difference. 

SOURCE: Otis, D. and Dell n. May 2021. Ranked Choice Voting Elections Benefit Candidates and Voters of Color.  

Ranked Choice Voting has increased the number of women and people of color running for office and getting elected. It allows for a more representative electorate to participate in an election process with a more diverse pool of candidates. 

John, S., Smith, H., Zack, E., Terrell, C. Whittaker, M., Pae, J., and Richie, R. August 2016. The Impact of Ranked Choice Voting on Representation: How Ranked Choice Voting Affects Women and People of Color Candidates in California.

RCV Has Increased Voter Participation in Minority Communities

While Ranked Choice Voting increases voter turnout overall, the increase in turnout among African Americans, Latinos, and Asians is even higher than turnout among the general electorate.

This is simple: When there are more candidates on the ballot who speak to voters of color and who voters of color trust, voters have more reason to vote. In New York City, for example, a simple comparison of turnout among voters in the Democratic Primary between two elections with similar dynamics shows: RCV helped increase voter turnout in diverse communities.

RCV Gives Voters More Confidence in the Election Process

When voters have the option of ranking their candidates, whether they use all their rankings or not, they trust in their ability to cast a meaningful vote. Naturally, there is a connection between a voter's trust and their desire to participate. That's why giving voters more choices with Ranked Choice Voting not only increases turnout, it increases confidence in the process.

SOURCE: Fairvote. 2022. Exit Poll: New Yorkers Love Ranked Choice Voting.

SOURCE: Unite America. 2022. Ranking Works: An Examination of Ranked Choice Voting in New York City.

SOURCE: Fairvote. 2022. Data on Ranked Choice Voting.

SOURCE: Common Cause, New York. 2022. Preliminary Analysis : Ranked Choice Voting in New York's Primary.

Voters Find Ranked Choice Voting Simple. Fair. And Easy

Ranked Choice Voting changes the look of the ballot by giving voters the option to choose to rank candidates in order of preference but also gives voters the choice to vote for only one candidate. Although having the choice of ranking may sound like more work and confusing, studies have shown that this does not raise the probability that a voter would cast an uncountable ballot. Voters like having the option to choose.  

SOURCE: Fairvote. 2022. Data on Ranked Choice Voting: Number of Rankings Used

SOURCE: Maloy, J. & Ward, M. June 2021. The Impact of Input Rules and Ballot Options on Voting Error: An Experimental Analysis.

Ranked Choice Voting implementation has been crucial for a better understanding of the effect of Ranked Choice Voting on voters. Various analysis of exit poll data demonstrates that voters find this voting system simple, fair and easy! 

SOURCE: Fairvote. 2022. Data on Ranked Choice Voting: Voter Understanding and Support.

Try Ranked Choice Voting

Ranked Choice Voting is around us on the daily. From choosing between ice cream flavors, family game night activities, or something as common as beverage options, Ranked Choice Voting is simple, fair and easy!

Create your poll and try it yourself here: RankIt.Vote

READ: A Ranked Choice Voting Primer, by FairVote 2022

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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