How does ranked-choice voting work?

This year’s election represents a major test for ranked-choice voting in Minneapolis. Thirty-five candidates are competing in the most hotly contested mayor’s race the city has seen in 20 years.

Under the city’s ranked-choice voting system, also called instant runoff voting, voters choose up to three candidates and rank them — first choice, second choice, third choice.

This video, a high definition update to one we produced four years ago, explains how the votes will be counted.

Know who your top three candidates are? Read the profiles of the top 8 candidates.

  • Poli Sci

    So if you have 100,000 people come out on election day and vote for Mayor, how many votes does the candidate need to be elected?

  • davehoug

    You may NOT get 50% with a field of 35 candidates for mayor and 3 choices. WHAT then?

  • davehoug

    What is so great about a pretending the winner had a majority, Another round or two and you have a “unanimous” winner.

    • shhmatt

      IRV is not proposing what you suggest. IRV came around in answer to one of the bigger flaws with FPTP (First Past the Post) voting styles, which is the Spoiler Effect. IRV systems allow third party groups the chance to run without the voting block feeling like they are wasting their vote on a third party candidate.

  • davehoug

    With several close recounts, EACH round is subject to a recount before we know who won.

  • davehoug

    I DO like the aspect of “better not trash your opponent’s supporters, because you want to be their 2nd choice”. If all it did was make campaigns a bit more civil, that would be a GOOD thing.

  • Zepaw

    Good video but in the situation with MPLS mayor when there are so many candidates is it still just the least ranked that goes out after round one or several? I imagine the lowest rank is going to have a couple hundred votes at best; not enough to tip someone to the majority so its going to have to strip away many first choices.