Ranked-choice (Instant-runoff) Voting, Interactive Demo

In recent years some voters have been increasingly unsatisfied with two-party systems in USA. In 2016, neither of the two party candidates could get a majority of votes of the American people. In 2000, one third party candidate ended up making a big difference in the total, because as in most voting systems, one can only vote for one person for each position.

Ranked-choice voting as a possible solution

Many have pointed to Ranked-choice or “instant-runoff” voting as a possible solution. It could give some third party candidates a mathematical possibility of winning while not acting as a “spoiler” for the well known candidate of choice. According to Ballotpedia, seventeen states have ranked-choice voting or are planned to have it implemented. – their article describes in detail the implementation of instant-runoff voting, which eliminates the least-voted candidate as necessary, distributing the votes to the second choice of those ballots. This requires some different ballots and training for people however! Instead of a single vote one can have, for example a first choice, #2 choice or #3 choice input. For example:

One proper ballot and two improper RCV voting ballots.

Proper choice of instant run-off voting, and two invalid voting ballots.

So what might happen when votes are tallied with Rank Choice voting rather than a simple majority? Drag the divider between box A,B,C, and D to see:

ABCD

Votes for candidate A:

Votes for candidate B:

Votes for candidate C:

Votes for candidate D:

Plurality-of-votes winner:

Votes for candidate A:

Votes for candidate B:

Votes for candidate C:

Votes for candidate D:

Votes for candidate A:

Votes for candidate B:

Votes for candidate C:

Votes for candidate D:

In the above interactive demo, the second or third choice are assumed to be random choices distributed amongst the other candidates.

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