SANTA FE, N.M. — Don’t be intimidated, voters. Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is nothing to be afraid of.
That’s the message the city wants to communicate in advance of the 2018 municipal election, which – barring a reversal by the state Supreme Court of a district court judge’s order – will be the first municipal election in state history to be decided by the ranked-choice method of voting.
“Once people learn about the system, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds,” said Matt Ross, the city’s public information officer, who will be leading the city’s effort to education voters about RCV, sometimes called “instant runoff.”
RCV comes into play only when there are more than two candidates in a race. Voters are asked to rank their candidate choices in order of preference. If after an initial vote tally, no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the second choices of those who voted for the last-place candidate are counted as votes for the remaining candidates. If the top vote-getter still doesn’t have a majority, the process is repeated until someone tops 50 percent of votes counted.