Ranked Choice Voting

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What is Ranked Choice Voting?

In 2018, the Utah State Legislature passed HB 35, which established a ranked choice vote (RCV) pilot program through January 1, 2026. As a result, communities can opt in during a municipal election cycle if they desire RCV.

Voting with RCV involves voters numerically ranking candidates in order of their preference, rather than just selecting one choice. In a single-office election (like Park City’s mayoral election), if any candidate wins over 50% of the votes during the first round, they are the winner. But if no candidate crosses that threshold, the last-place finisher is eliminated, and that candidate’s votes are reallocated to the voters’ next choice. This process is repeated as necessary until a candidate wins over 50% of the votes, at which time they are deemed the winner of the election.

In a multi-winner or multi-seat election (like our City Council elections), the first candidate to reach 50% +1 is removed from the ballot and awarded a seat. Then a second round of scoring commences to determine the second-place winner, and so forth for a third-place winner. The same method of eliminating the last-place finisher and reallocating votes until a candidate reaches 50%+1 is used to award each seat.

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Arguments FOR RCV

Elimination of Vote Splitting
Majority Support
Reduced Negative Campaigning
Enhanced Representation
Minimization of Spoiler Effects
Primary Election Time and Cost Savings


Complexity and Confusion
No Clear Majority
Potential for Strategic Voting
Increased Campaigning and Election Costs
Voter Disenfranchisement
Questionable Impact on Representation
Votes May Not be Counted