This article lists the cities in the order of year adopted, the status of implementation, and the results of elections held.
In March 2002, an initiative backed by a broad coalition of civic organizations won 55% of the vote in making instant runoff voting the means of electing candidates for the Board of Supervisors and most citywide offices in San Francisco. It was first used in that city in October 2004 for YouthVOTE, an election held throughout San Francisco’s public schools which elected the SF school board's student delegate, after that it was used in the November 2004 supervisoral races. Instant runoff voting played a decisive role in at least one city election in 2004, 2005 and 2006 (). Exit polls by San Francisco State University have shown strong support for the new system from all groupings of voters.
Note: The San Francisco Department of Elections prefers the term Ranked Choice Voting because "the word instant might create an expectation that final results will be available immediately after the polls close on election night. The Department release first choice totals immediately, but chooses to wait until most absentee ballots have arrived before running instant runoff ballot counts.)
The November 2008 ballot will also include ranked choice voting for local elections. In July 2008 the San Francisco Civil Grand Jury made recommendations for the San Francisco Department of Elections
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) has been used since 2004 to elect its Board of Supervisors and major citywide offices. This implementation allows the voter to rank three candidates and uses sequential candidate elimination until one candidate earns a majority of votes cast for remaining candidates. , there have been 20 elections using the RCV ballot.
There were four elections that used the instant runoff process; Districts 1,5,7, and 11.
The District 5 results are included below as the largest election from 2004 and most round of counting. The elimination table shows the candidates reordered by their elimination. The elimination process was stable for the highest 5 candidates, holding their same plurality ranking each round despite the 19 rounds of elimination and transfer votes.
The IRV elimination process was halted when candidate Mirkarimi reached more than 50% of the active ballots, but only 37.6% of the total first-round ballots. This stopping point is pragmatic for picking a winner, but fails to show how many votes the winner had compared to only the strongest runner up candidate.
|Candidate||Pass 1||Pass 2||Pass 3||Pass 4||Pass 5||Pass 6||Pass 7||Pass 8||Pass 9||Pass 10||Pass 11||Pass 12||Pass 13||Pass 14||Pass 15||Pass 16||Pass 17||Pass 18||Pass 19|
|SUSAN C. KING||977||980||984||1007||1034||1051||1072||1116||1147||1206||1237||1293||1371|
|MICHAEL E. O'CONNOR||868||870||873||882||906||930||944||973||1012||1036||1079||1127|
|PATRICK M. CIOCCA||91||91||91|
|Exhausted Ballots (-4146 no marks)||8||21||47||99||147||219||312||429||572||850||1080||1452||1947||2538||3285||4356||6081||8998|
|Plurality candidate %||28.33%||28.34%||28.35%||28.39%||28.47%||28.58%||28.75%||28.93%||29.23%||29.59%||29.83%||30.29%||30.66%||31.18%||32.08%||33.21%||33.95%||35.00%||37.63%|
There was only one election requiring the instant runoff process to be performed, with 4 candidates and finding a 55% majority winner in two rounds.
|Candidate||Pass 1||Pass 2|
(-26146 no marks)
There were two elections that required the instant runoff process, districts 4 and 6:
The detailed runoff results for district 4 are:
|Race and Candidate||Pass 1||Pass 2||Pass 3||Pass 4|
(-2171 no marks)
The city of Basalt, Colorado adopted instant runoff voting in 2002 for mayoral elections in which there are at least three candidates. The city is ready to run instant runoff elections, but the 2004 and 2008 elections did not have more than two candidates file for the mayor's office.
The city of Ferndale, Michigan passed (68%) instant runoff voting in 2004 pending implementation.
The city of Berkeley, California passed (72%) instant runoff voting in 2004 pending implementation.
The city of Burlington, Vermont approved IRV with a 64% vote in 2005.
|Candidate||Round 1||Round 2|
|Bob Kiss (Progressive)||3809||(38.9%)||4761||(48.6%)|
|Hinda Miller (Democrat)||3106||(31.7%)||3986||(40.7%)|
|Kevin Curley (Republican)||2609||(26.7%)||--|
(-10 with no marks)
The city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, passed (65%) instant runoff voting in November 2006. Implementation is scheduled for the 2009 municipal elections. A citizen group filed a lawsuit on December 20, 2007 challenging the constitutionality of the system and to block its implementation.
Pierce County, Washington passed (53%) instant runoff voting in November 2006 for implementation for most of its county offices in 2008. Voters upheld the 2008 implementation timing with a vote of 67% in 2007 and made minor adjustments to the charter language involving ballot access and numbers of rankings..
The city of Takoma Park, Maryland adopted instant runoff voting for city council and mayoral elections in 2006.
In January 2007 the first IRV election was help to fill a city council vacancy in a 3-way race with a majority winner in the first round. Voters selected Reuben Snipper with 107 votes (52.7%), defeating Eric Hensal with 72 votes (35.5%) and Alexandra Quéré Barrionuevo with 23 votes (11.3%) and one write-in.)
Snipper said the possibility of using the IRV system changed the race's dynamics. "I had every reason to believe this was going to be a close race," he said. "It meant that when I knocked on a door, if a person indicated they were going to vote for another candidate, I didn't just leave right away. I tried to persuade them I would be a good second choice."
In November 2007 the mayor ran unopposed, and, out of six ward seats on the ballot, one was contested. Runoff provisions were not exercised.
The city of Oakland, California voters passed (69%) a measure in November 2006 to adopt IRV for its city offices, pending implementation.
North Carolina in July 2006 adopted a pilot program for instant runoff voting in the form of batch-elimination IRVfor up to 10 cities in 2007 and up to 10 counties for 2008; to be monitored and reported to the 2007-2008 General Assembly.
Several municipalities considered participating in the IRV pilot in 2007. Cary, Hendersonville and Kinston voted to participate; Kinston dropped out because there were not enough candidates running to use IRV. Other cities declined to participate in the pilot. No NC counties volunteered to pilot IRV in 2008 elections held in conjunction with state and federal races In August 2008 the governor signed legislation extending the pilot program for local elections to be held in 2009-2011.
There was much debate whether IRV was successful when it was used This debate continued in the North Carolina legislature when it debated legislation to extend the pilot program. Some verified voting advocates contended that the IRV tabulation procedures used were not legal. Both advocates and opponents of the provision supported amendments to the pilot program to: ensure that the local governing body of any jurisdiction participating in the pilot must approve their partcipation; the jurisdiction must develop and implement voter education plans; and the UNC School of Government by January 2009 must approve procedures for conducting IRV elections. After these amendments were adopted, the house by a majority of 65-47 rejected an amendment designed to remove the pilot program from the legislation, and the legislation ultimately won approval by both house.
In October 2007 the city of Cary, North Carolina used batch-elimination IRV for municipal elections involving the Mayor and three council seats. The mayoral election had two candidates on the ballot and two of the council seats (with four and three candidates on the ballot) were won with a majority in the first round. The remaining council seat, with three candidates, went to a second round of counting under the instant runoff system; the plurality winner in the first round went on to win with 50.9% of the final round vote, amounting to 46.4% of first-round ballots cast, with 8.9% of the ballots offering no preference between the top two candidates.
|Candidate||Round 1||Round 2|
Cary used hand or machine-marked paper ballots that are read on optical scanners manufactured by ES&S. First column choices were tallied at the precinct. The second and third column choices were counted at a central location.
Aspen, Colorado passed IRV (77%) in November 2007.
The city of Sarasota, Florida passed IRV (78%) in November 2007.
On March 4, 2008, the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, passed a referendum for IRV (Called Ranked Choice voting) by a vote of 5659 to 3044 (65% for).
The poll allowed a none of the above option which could not be eliminated. Their rules eliminated one weakest candidate at a time, or all candidates in a tie at the bottom. They continued the elimination until only one candidate remained to confirm that this candidate had more support than NOTA.
This summary table shows the first round, and final five rounds, excluding five rounds during which 18 weak candidates were eliminated.
|John F. Kerry|
|George W. Bush|
(<10 votes each)
|None of the above|| 32|
Also, the Green Party of Minnesota conducts an annual poll of Minnesota State Fair attendees, where each person ranks their preferences for fair food to better understand how IRV works in a real-world situation.
In the United States, IRV election laws were first adopted in 1912. Five states (Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Wisconsin and Minnesota) used versions of IRV for party primaries. Of the four states with IRV, only the Minnesota and Maryland law used the standard IRV sequential elimination of bottom candidates, while the others used batch elimination of all but the top two candidates.
After a series of primary elections in which alternate preference votes happened to play no role in determining the winner, this voting procedure was eclipsed in all five states.
By the 1930's all of these preference voting systems had been replaced by other primary election reforms, including the use of a second, or runoff primary in the event of a non-majority outcome.
IRV (called Preferential voting or PV) was adopted for mayoral races in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1974 after a successful ballot initiative sponsored by the local Human Rights Party; the process was used in the 1975 mayoral election. In April 1976 62% of voters voted to repeal PV.