What is Ranked Choice Voting?

Ranked choice voting (RCV) describes voting systems that allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference and then uses those rankings to elect candidates able to combine strong first choice support with the ability to earn second and third choice support.

RCV is straightforward for voters: rank candidates in order of choice. Voters can rank as many candidates as they want, without fear that ranking others will hurt the chances of their favorite candidate.

Our study on RCV, also known as Instant Runoff Voting, was conducted in 2017 to provide background information, and does not offer solutions or proposals for change, nor does it assume that changing the current system is necessarily desirable. This study, reviewed in a section of a 2005 study by the LWV Utah, is focusing solely on current Utah voting practices and how Ranked Choice Voting, if used in Utah, may either be helpful or unfavorable to the State’s elections.


The Salt Lake League units and local Leagues around the state discussed the study in November 2017 and January 2018. Following those meetings the LWVUT board approved the following position:

1. The League of Women Voters believes Ranked Choice Voting could be a fair and representative election system in Utah.

2. The League believes that Ranked Choice Voting would give more voters a larger voice throughout election campaigns and in the selection of final winners in the voting process.

3. The League supports Ranked Choice Voting and believes it could be a better option than the current system.