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  Ranked-Choice Voting in California   Californians for
electoral reform

In 2004, San Francisco adopted ranked-choice voting to elect city officers, where voters rank their choices instead of voting for one. In an instant runoff process, ballots are counted for their highest-ranked eligible candidate. If no one wins a majority of cast votes, the last-place candidate is eliminated and the process repeats. This way, no vote is "wasted" and many more votes help to decide the winner.


Even more powerfully, ranked ballots allow voters to "self-district" themselves in multi-winner elections. Voters have much more choice and freedom, almost all votes help elect a winner, and all of those votes count equally. This is done by deferring voters to their next choices when candidates have more than a seat's worth of votes. In practice, voters are assigned to 4- to 9-seat geographic districts, and then assign themselves to a specific winning representative during the counting process.

Rank the candidates you support, in order of preference.
Lou [1] Bob [2] Kim [3]
Your vote will count for your highest-ranked candidate, but some candidates may be eliminated.
=> Your vote counts for Bob, your first choice. Nobody has a majority mandate from voters.
---------------- 50%
PPPPPPPP ________ :
So we eliminate Bob, and recount.
=> Kim gets enough of Bob's second choices to get a majority.
---------------- 50%
In this count, because Bob was eliminated, your vote counted for Lou, your second choice.

This site demonstrates what an election would be like if California used ranked-choice voting for all statewide offices. Multi-seat legislative districts were made by combining current single-member districts.

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