RANKED CHOICE VOTING (RCV)
This year, New York City is using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for the first time! In the June 22 Democratic Primary, voters can rank their candidates in order of preference.
Which elections will use Ranked Choice Voting?
All primary and special elections will use Ranked Choice Voting for local offices. Ranked Choice Voting will not be used in the general election.
On June 22, voters will use Ranked Choice Voting to rank candidates for City Council, Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, and Borough President.
How does Ranked Choice Voting Work?
Ranked Choice Voting allows you to rank up to 5 candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just 1. You can vote for just one candidate, or fewer than 5 candidates, if you prefer.
However, by ranking multiple candidates, you have a greater say in who gets elected, even if your first candidate does not win.
You cannot rank a candidate more than once, and you cannot give more than one candidate the same rank.
How do I fill out my ballot?
1. Pick your first choice candidate and completely fill in the oval next to their name in the first column.
2. Pick your second choice candidate and completely fill in the oval next to their name in the second column.
3. You can rank up to 5 choices, or you can rank fewer if you prefer.
What mistakes should I avoid in Ranked Choice Voting?
DO NOT give more than one candidate the same “ranking.” This means you shouldn’t put more than one candidate in the same column.
DO NOT rank one candidate more than one time. This means you shouldn’t put more than one rank per candidate.
How are Ranked Choice Voting votes counted by the Board of Elections?
First, all first-choice votes are counted. If one candidate wins more than 50% of first-choice votes, they win the election.
If no candidate receives over 50% of first-choice votes, the votes are counted in “rounds.”
Each round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and their voters’ next highest-rated candidate receives their votes.
The “rounds” continue until there are only 2 candidates left and the one with the most votes is declared the winner.
Is there a downside to ranking more than one candidate? Will this hurt my first-choice candidate’s chances of winning?
NO. By ranking more than one candidate, you will not hurt your first-choice candidate’s chances of winning.
You should rank candidates in order of your true preferences.
Can I vote for just one candidate?
Yes, if you prefer, you can just vote for your first-choice candidate. However, by ranking more than one candidate, this does not hurt your first-choice candidate’s chances of winning.
Do I have to rank 5 candidates?
No, you can rank up to 5 candidates, but you can also rank fewer than 5.
Can I rank my first-choice candidate more than once?
No, there is no benefit to ranking a candidate more than once. If you rank a candidate more than once, only your highest ranking will count.
Can I rank multiple candidates as my first choice?
No, if you rank multiple candidates in the same first-choice ranking, your ballot will be invalidated. Don’t make this mistake!
When should we expect results from Ranked Choice Voting elections?
We will not know the results of the election until all absentee and military ballots are counted, which could be a few weeks after Election Day.
Is there a benefit to ranking multiple candidates, rather than just one?
Yes, by ranking multiple candidates, you will have a greater say in who wins the election, even if your first-choice candidate does not win. Ranking multiple candidates means your vote will go to your highest-ranked candidate that has not been eliminated at the end of the rounds.
Why do we have Ranked Choice Voting in New York City?
There are many benefits of Ranked Choice Voting:
Voters have a greater say in who wins elections.
There is more civility between candidates in campaigning.
Cities that have used Ranked Choice Voting have historically elected more women and people of color.
It saves the government money in elections.
New Yorkers elected to use Ranked Choice Voting in a ballot measure in 2019, which passed with 73.5% support!
*All Images Courtesy of NYC Votes