● Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows the voter to rank candidates on their ballot in order of preference—first choice, second choice, and so forth. If one candidate receives an absolute majority of the first-choice votes, the counting process stops, and that candidate wins outright. Otherwise, the candidate supported by the fewest voters is eliminated and that candidate’s ballots are redistributed according to the next choice indicated on those ballots. This process of eliminating the lowest candidate and redistributing that candidate’s ballots is repeated until one candidate has the support of a majority of the voters expressing a choice.
● RCV is poised to be used in the 2024 presidential election by two states together possessing 0.6% of the nation’s population (Maine and Alaska).
● The false claim that Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is incompatible with National Popular Vote requires getting people to believe that the intent of a state’s RCV-for-President law is to give voters a ballot that allows them to rank candidates according to their first, second, etc. preferences—but to then ignore everything on the ballot except the voter’s first choice. This interpretation of a state’s RCV-for-President law in a manner that ignores RCV’s sole purpose, namely letting voters rank the candidates in order of their preference.
● Even if there were any legitimate uncertainty as to how to interpret a state’s RCV-for-President law, the issue is legally moot in the only state that has ever used RCV in a presidential election (namely Maine) because Maine amended its 2019 RCV-for-President law in 2021 to eliminate any possible ambiguity. Moreover, in the only state that is currently poised to use RCV for President in 2024 (namely Alaska), the issue is politically moot, because the Republican presidential nominee is almost certain to win an absolute majority of the first-choice votes in 2024—thereby making the first-choice count equivalent to the final RCV count.
● Even if some state’s RCV-for-President law in the future is unclear, RCV supporters in the state involved would press election administrators and courts to definitively declare—before Election Day—how votes are going to be counted. Thus, there would be no post-election question—much less a “constitutional crisis … throwing the nation into turmoil” as predicted by opponents.
● The false claim that Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is incompatible with the National Popular Vote Compact ignores the history of writing the Compact. In fact, the leading organization advocating RCV (FairVote) was the very first organization to endorse the Compact, and the head of that organization (Rob Richie) supporter of RCV was co-author of the Compact and the book describing the Compact. The National Popular Vote Compact was written to be compatible with RCV from the very beginning.
Click here for detailed memo explaining why Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) Is Compatible with National Popular Vote