Plurality voting

First Past the Post (FPTP) voting is used across the U.S. The winner is whoever has the most votes, of those cast. This system often results in a candidate with less than half the votes winning the office and leaves more than half the voters unhappy with the result.

Some states require a runoff election in cases where the winner has less than 50% of the votes cast. This takes more money and time to determine the winner, and the voters often don't pay as much attention to these secondary elections -- resulting in a more polarized turnout -- which can skew the results.

A path forward

The way to solve this problem is to count the ballots twice from the one election in order to determine the winner. This avoids the cost of holding a complete second election and captures the greater turnout numbers of the first election.


Such a system is called Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), or more commonly, Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). The crucial difference is this system gives voters a way to rank their choices according to how satisfied they would be if that candidate were to win. This is as natural to the voter as choosing what's for dinner. Once the ballots are cast, the entire voter intent is captured -- assuming they use paper ballots -- and can be counted as many times as necessary to determine the winner.

In practice, it works just like a normal FPTP election if the initial count shows a clear winner with more than 50% of the votes. But when that threshold is not met, the ballots are simply tallied again. Only this time, the 2nd choice of certain voters are counted, instead of their 1st choice.

More voters matter

Who are these special voters who seemingly to get to vote twice? They are the one's who voted for the candidate in last place. The marginalized. The fringe.

Why do they get to vote twice? Well, they don't really. Their vote still only casts as a single vote in the total, but what they do get is a way to express their preference for a compromise candidate -- one they would still be satisfied with -- even though it was not their first pick. These are voices that would otherwise not be heard, or counted. The result is greater overall satisfaction in the outcome, and a government that more accurately reflects the will of it's PEOPLE.