December 28, 2021

Ranked-Choice Voting: A Conservative Approach

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by Adam Kissel, Senior Fellow



  • 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!


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