Ranking Voting – Official Site of the Arlington County Government in Virginia

1. What is ranked voting?

Preferential voting (RCV) is an electoral method that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference (first choice, second choice, third choice, etc.). Ranking candidates is different from simply selecting a candidate or what is known as plurality voting. (The source: https://www.rcvresources.org/what-is-rcv)

2. How does ranking voting work?

If a candidate gets more than half of the first choices, that candidate wins, as in any other election. However, if there is no majority winner after the first picks are counted, the race is decided by an instant second round. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and voters who ranked that candidate as their first choice will have their votes count towards their next choice. This process continues until a majority winner, or candidate wins, with more than half of the vote. Ranking voting works just as well when there are several seats to be filled. The winning threshold is adjusted according to the number of seats to be filled. A similar process of eliminating and electing candidates by rounds of counting occurs until all seats are filled. (The source: https://www.rcvresources.org/what-is-rcv)

3. Should I rank candidates? Can I choose just one?

No, you can rank as few candidates as you want. You can only choose one candidate on the form.

4. Will every position on the ballot – federal, state, and local – be by ranked ballot?

No, ranked choice voting in the June primaries will only be for Arlington County Council candidates.

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