Electing Portland’s Government with Ranked Choice Voting

Why RCV is Being Adopted for More Elections:

    • RCV requires that  candidates must receive broad voter support to win. Election results represent the choices of more than half of the voters.
    • When voters rank all their favorite candidates with RCV,  it’s more likely that their votes will count for candidates they like. Fewer votes will be wasted.
    • Ranked choice voting offers voters more power to elect the candidates who represent their values.
    • Multi-winner ranked choice voting allows voters to elect representatives who, as a group, broadly reflect the interests of the people they serve. The majority is fully represented, and minorities are also represented.
    • With multi-winner ranked choice voting, groups of significant size – such as the working class, people of color, young people, renters, and seniors – have a greater opportunity to elect councilors who understand their concerns. Ranked choice voting with multi-member district elections increases the range of people and views represented – making the government more equitable.

Ranked Choice Ballots

Sample ballot from https://www.portland.gov/transition/documents/ranked-choice-voting-fact-sheetenglish/download
    • Starting in November 2024, Portland voters will use ranked choice voting to elect our mayor, city auditor, and city councilors. There will be other races on your ballot, but ranked choice voting will only be used for city offices.
    • Filling out a ranked choice ballot is easy – all you need to do is to rank candidates in order of choice – your first choice, second choice, third choice, etc.
    •  You can rank up to six of the candidates you like.
    • In places that have already adopted ranked choice voting, exit polls show 80-90% of voters understand how to rank candidates on their ballots – even the first time. These percentages increase in subsequent elections.
    • Ranked choice voting ballots will be handled by election officials and certified software to ensure that vote counts are secure, accurate and reliable.

How Ranked Choice Ballots Will Be Counted for Our Mayor and City Auditor

    • We will use single-winner ranked choice voting to elect our mayor and city auditor. (This is sometimes called “Instant Runoff Voting.”)
    • Watch this video from Minnesota Public Radio to see how the votes will be counted:


How Ranked Choice Ballots Will Be Counted for Our City Councilors

    • We will use multi-winner (or “proportional”) ranked choice voting to elect three city councilors in each of the four geographic districts.
    • Don’t worry. Your ballot will look the same; you will still be ranking candidates!
    • If you’re curious about how multi-winner ranked choice ballots will be counted, watch  the next  video.

In this video, note that the candidates from the “Purple Party” are named “Plum,” “Violet” and “Lavender.” The candidates from the “Orange Party” are named “Rust” and “Apricot.”

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