Jul 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

By the numbers: Ranked-choice voting

Data: FairVote; Map: Axios Visuals

Some voting experts are concerned the disastrous mayoral election in New York City will cause Americans to blame ranked-choice voting — rather than problems with the city's election board.

Between the lines: There's slowly growing support for ranked-choice voting, which allows voters to choose not only their top candidate but their second choice and third choices, and so on. Localities across the U.S. have had successful ranked-choice elections, and others are eyeing it for upcoming races.

  • 22 jurisdictions used ranked-choice voting in their most recent elections, as of June, according to the advocacy group Fair Vote.
  • 53 plan to use it in at least one of their next two elections.

What they're saying: When it comes to the mistakes made in New York, which caused officials to mistakenly count 135,000 test ballots, "I am worried that it will hurt ranked-choice voting nationwide — although I hope it doesn't and it shouldn't," Edward Foley, an election expert at Ohio State University, told Axios.

  • "Already the beef against ranked-choice voting is that it's too complicated ... but this will just add to the concerns," said Rick Hasen, a recognized election expert at the University of California, Irvine.
  • "I think it reflects the general incompetence of New York City's board of elections, rather than having anything to do with ranked-choice voting."
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