What is Ranked Choice Voting

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a popular electoral system allowing voters to rank candidates by preference, meaning they can submit ballots that list not only their first-choice candidate for a position but also their second, third, and so on.

If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, then the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated from the running. Voters who picked that sidelined candidate as No. 1 will have their votes count for their second choice. A new tally is then conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes.

This process continues, with the lowest vote-getter being scratched from the list each time until one candidate earns a majority and is declared the winner. Ranked Choice Voting only requires a single round of voting: one ballot with multiple choices per voter. It is designed to ensure that the winner has support from a majority of participating voters.

RCV in Utah

According to the Lt. Governor’s Office, the following municipalities have indicated their intent to participate in the Alternative Voting Methods Pilot Project: Draper, South Salt Lake, Magna, Bluffdale, Lehi, Payson, Riverton, Springville, Vineyard, Goshen, Newton, Woodland Hills, Genola, Sandy, Nibley City, Millcreek, Moab, River Heights City, Cottonwood Heights, Elk Ridge, Salt Lake City, Midvale,  and Heber City.

The Utah Cities of Vineyard and Payson used Ranked Choice Voting in their 2019 elections. Here's a helpful demonstration of Vineyard, Utah’s RCV process and results:

Vineyard Ranked Choice Voting process graph

You may also visit their website here for an interactive look at this graph.