Marking the Ballot
Ranked Choice Voting is simple — just rank your choices in the order you prefer them: first, second, third, etc. You can vote for just one person like you always have, or you can mark additional choices, as many or few as you like. This sample ballot shows a voter who likes Candidate B first, Candidate A second, and Candidate C third.
Counting the Votes
If one candidate receives a majority (more than 50%) of the first-choice votes, they win! If not, the candidate with the fewest votes is dropped, and those votes count instantly towards the next choice on each voter’s ballot. This process repeats in rounds until one candidate has a majority of the vote.
Here is a video demonstration from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Attorney General Maura Healey about how Ranked Choice Voting works:
The ideal way to elect multi-seat offices, such as city councilors at-large, is with Proportional Ranked Choice Voting. It ensures both majority rule and fair representation of minority viewpoints. Here is an explainer video of how it works.
You can learn and compare other options for electing multi-seat offices with Ranked Choice Voting on the FairVote website.