Ranked-Choice Voting: A Conservative Approach

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Can Ranked-Choice Voting Work?

A Conservative Approach

by Adam Kissel, Senior Fellow



Key Points:

  • Single-elimination ranked-choice voting (RCV) is easy to understand, lets voters vote their conscience
    instead of gaming their vote, reveals true voter preferences, reduces election costs, and likely
    increases civility.
  • Every election system has flaws and benefits. Single-elimination RCV usually has
    the best mix.
  • To satisfy a broad political spectrum of voters and legislators, voting reform proposals that
    include RCV should only proceed with strong protections of election integrity
    including transparency and results on, or immediately after, election day.

    New York City’s experience with ranked-choice voting (RCV) in 2021 was abysmal. [1] That fiasco
    does not, however, invalidate the benefits of RCV. Can pairing RCV with election integrity satisfy a
    broad range of the political spectrum? A single-elimination RCV process, using an instant runoff, can
    make voting more valuable to the voter while making it harder to cheat and improving confidence in
    the count.


The views expressed in this paper are not necessarily shared by the Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Policy.


For a brief summary of this paper, read Adam’s article on the Cardinal’s Nest Blog!