We believe our government should be of, by, and for the people. But the way we vote limits our choices for leaders and fails to hold them accountable to the communities they represent. We want better ideas, better candidates, we want a system that lives up to all the promises of democracy.
Ranked choice voting (RCV) allows voters the option to rank many candidates in order of preference: first, second, third, and so forth.
If your vote cannot help your top choice win, your vote counts for your next choice.
Our current system – first-past-the-post or plurality voting – makes it possible for candidates with the support of less than half of voters to win elections. It also mathematically guarantees that only two parties can be competitive nationally; inevitably leading to polarization and disengagement.
Benefits of Ranked Choice Voting
1. Fresh Candidates
Local and independent leaders can run with or without support of a major party
RCV gives voters more choices and eliminates the “spoiler effect” – no matter how many candidates run for a given seat
2. EVERY VOTE COUNTS
If your first choice doesn’t win, your second choice is counted – your ballot isn’t thrown out and your vote isn’t wasted
3. MAJORITY SUPPORT
Ranking candidates ensures that the winner has approval of the majority
4. ENCOURAGES COOPERATION
With RCV, individual candidates are incentivized to work together and offer each other as alternatives for their voters’ second and third choices
5. Minimizes Negatives
Negative partisanship, mudslinging, gerrymandering, and gridlock: there are no silver bullets in democracy, but RCV mitigates the biggest problems
RCV is a State-led movement!
In 2022, 25 states – yes, HALF of all states – introduced Ranked Choice Voting bills!
Where is RCV already used?
Virginia Republicans use RCV to elect leadership
Virginia Republicans have successfully utilized RCV as a way to promote party unity, nominate consensus candidates, and send competitive nominees to general elections.
After the Virginia GOP’s use of RCV to nominate winning gubernatorial, lieutenant governor, and Attorney General candidates, Virginia Republicans used RCV to choose their nominees in three congressional districts for the 2022 midterm elections (VA-8,VA-10, and VA-11). The Republican nominee in VA-10, Hung Cao, emerged with a high net favorability rating (+78), in contrast to the nominee in VA-7 (Yesli Vega at +51), where RCV was not used. Cao went on to exceed expectations in the general election, winning 4% more votes than projected, whereas Vega performed as predicted. According to the same survey, 84% of respondents in VA-10 said the candidates ran a positive campaign, compared to 59% in VA-7. A majority of GOP primary voters in VA-10 approve of using RCV for future elections.