2022 Elections- What Exactly is Rank Order Voting?

2022 Elections- What Exactly is Rank Order Voting?

Most U.S. states elect their officials using plurality voting. This is when candidates win elections by having more votes than the other(s). Many people believe this system is advantageous because it’s quick, easy to understand, and is just overall more convenient.

The common counterargument against this method is that in elections between multiple candidates the required threshold for votes goes down per candidate and makes it harder for the candidates with the minority of the votes to get their win.

For example, the minimum amount of votes needed to win a vote between four people would be just a little bit over 25%. People debate that other methods like election decided by absolute majority would be more effective. 

A method of voting that has been gaining traction lately is the ranked choice voting system.  Ranked-choice voting is a system of voting that allows voters to choose their candidates in order of preference, by marking candidates as their first, second, third, and subsequent choices. In ranked choice voting, voters rank each candidate in order of preference. The votes are grouped into rounds with the lowest-ranking candidates eliminated in each round until there are only two candidates left. The one who has the majority of votes by the end of the final round wins the election. 

Alaska and Maine are the only states in the country to have established the use of ranked-choice voting for all congressional and state elections. Some believe since this isn’t the most popular choice of voting, that most of our population won’t be properly educated enough for the system to fully work. 

If you, as a new or future voter, are interested in learning more about the ins and outs of the democratic process, visit fairvote.org