A thriving democracy is one that gives voters more choice and fair representation. It values civil discourse and common ground over partisanship. We believe that nonpartisan open primaries and ranked choice voting methods better achieve these ideals over the current plurality system. Ranked choice voting would benefit all Montanans regardless of political leaning or party. To this end, RCV Montana is a grassroots nonpartisan volunteer organization that aims to bring this much needed electoral reform to Montana voters through awareness programs, capacity building, collaboration with national movements, and advocating for change at the local and state level.
WHAT IS RANKED CHOICE VOTING?
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a simple upgrade to the ballot. Instead of choosing just one candidate, RCV allows you to rank multiple candidates in the order you prefer them (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on). This solves a number of long-standing problems in our American political system: the intractability of the two major parties; “spoiler” candidates; candidates who win elections without majority support; negative attack ads; and poor voter turnout and engagement. Learn more about Ranked Choice Voting from a recent article in Time magazine: https://time.com/5718941/ranked-choice-voting/
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- July, 2023 - D.C. ranked-choice voting ballot initiative clears its first hurdle, the D.C. Board of Elections.
- July, 2023 - In response to low voter turnout, ranked choice voting bill is introduced in the Pennsylvania house of representatives.
- June, 2023 - Oregon republicans and democrats find common ground on ranked choice voting, becoming the first state to introduce ranked choice voting through legislators and becoming the largest state to put ranked choice voting on the ballot.
- June, 2023 - New York City will once again use RCV in elections for mayor, City Council-members, borough president, public advocate, and comptroller.
- June, 2023 - Veterans for Political Innovation fights for RCV in Charlottesville, Virginia.
- June, 2023 - Oregon advances House Bill 2004, which would appear on the 2024 ballot, asking voters whether they want to adopt RCV when electing federal officials and statewide officeholders.
- June, 2023 - Maine proposal to use RCV to elect governor advances to state legislature.
- June, 2023 - Six Massachusetts communities have state hearings to approve home-rule petitions for RCV.
- June, 2023 - Republicans advocate for RCV to be used in 2023 GOP presidential primary.
- June, 2023 - Representative Don Beyer of Virginia advocates for RCV.
- June, 2023 - Idaho ballot initiative for RCV announced.
- June, 2023 - Following use of RCV in the primaries, Arlington, Virginia considers use in future elections. Arlington voters advocate for RCV in presidential election.
- April, 2023 - The University of Montana adopts RCV for student government elections.
- April, 2023 - Politicians across the country preemptively institute state-wide bans of RCV to protect their own power.
- April, 2023 - The Montana house and senate passed HB-598, banning RCV methods in Montana.
- April, 2022 - After multiple cities and counties in Florida passed RCV, it was banned by the state legislature.
- Dec, 2021 - The US House passed the Voter Choice Act, which would “provide up to $40 million in matching grants for cities, counties, and states adopting RCV”. This is the first legislation to provide funds to expand RCV that has passed either chamber of the US Congress.
- Nov, 2021 - The Washington Post details how the Virginia GOP’s use of RCV in its primary allowed the GOP to win statewide (governor, lt. governor, and attorney general) for the first time in 12 years. RCV helped the party select candidates with broad support.
- Nov, 2021 - All three cities with RCV on the November ballot passed it! Ann Arbor, MI with 73%, Westbrook, ME with 63%, and Broomfield, CO with 52%.
- Nov, 2021 - 21 Utah municipalities used RCV for the first time, and it went smoothly: the Salt Lake County Clerk said “I think it went really well. I was actually pleasantly surprised.”
- Nov, 2021 - This FairVote news release summarizes the Nov 2021 election wins for RCV (there are a lot!)
- Sept, 2021 - The Voter Choice Act was introduced in the US Congress to provide grants for up to 50% of the cost of implementing RCV in states or municipalities.
- Sept, 2021 - The Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution to consider RCV in city elections. More context is provided in this article.
- Sept, 2021 - The Sarasota, FL City Council is considering a lawsuit to assert that RCV is legal in Florida municipalities (with the help of Rank My Vote Florida)
- Aug, 2021 - The Broomfield, CO City Council unanimously voted to put RCV on the November ballot for municipal elections.
- Aug, 2021 - A ballot initiative was proposed in Utah for a statewide Top-5 primary system with RCV.
- Aug, 2021 - There was an administrative hearing in Nashville, TN about the use of RCV in Memphis, where voters have opted 3 times in the past to implement it. George Gilbert of the RCV Resource Center provided testimony on why RCV can indeed be implemented now.
- Aug, 2021 - Ann Arbor, MI City Council voted to put RCV on the November ballot for municipal elections. Here is a Sept ‘21 op-ed in favor of it.
- Aug, 2021 - Westbrook, ME City Council unanimously voted to put RCV on the November ballot for municipal elections.
- Aug, 2021 - The San Diego Charter Review Commission approved a recommendation for RCV.
- July, 2021 - An Alaska Superior Court judge upheld the state’s new Top-Four RCV voting system.
- July, 2021 - A majority of D.C. City Council members have introduced an RCV bill. There will be a hearing on it on Nov 18th
- July, 2021 - The Denver Clerk has proposed RCV to the City Council as an option (they need to update their elections anyway).
- July, 2021 - The Lansing, MI City Council unanimously voted to put RCV on the November ballot. Unfortunately, they backtracked weeks later.
- June, 2021 - The NYC Mayoral Primary was conducted using RCV. See this visualization of the rounds of results.
- June, 2021 - The King County Council in WA advanced an amendment to the county charter to allow RCV but then paused it, not wanting to rush the process. FairVote WA supports this decision, and RCV may end up on the 2022 ballot.
- June, 2021 - HB21-1071 in CO has been passed by the legislature with bipartisan support. It will allow county clerks to administer RCV elections for municipalities when requested, and allow municipalities to share costs with each other. This may lead to an increase in local RCV.
- June, 2021 - A Wyoming legislative committee voted to consider a bill that would institute RCV in statewide primary elections. In Sept 2021, the committee debated the bill, and voted not to advance the draft legislation at the moment. They then advanced runoff legislation for 2024 instead, due to anti-RCV mobilization by the Wyoming GOP.
- June, 2021 - The Maine Senate voted 21-12 to amend their state constitution to include RCV in state general elections. Further votes are forthcoming.
- June, 2021 - The Clearwater, FL City Council voted 4-1 to have the city attorney craft language for a potential RCV referendum next year. In October they voted against holding the referendum in March 2022 because FL has not asserted that RCV elections are permissible.
- May, 2021 - The Virginia GOP used RCV to select its gubernatorial nominee, so as to avoid a candidate with low plurality support
- May, 2021 - The Arlington, MA City Council voted to put RCV on the ballot for municipal elections.
- May, 2021 - Austin, TX passed RCV proposition with 58% support: RCV could possibly be used in 2022 elections, but is likely barred under state law.
- May, 2021 - HB740 was passed by Texas House: it would allow voters who use absentee ballots (i.e. those who live outside their native county) to vote for primaries and runoffs in one ballot via Instant Runoff Voting.
- April, 2021 - Salt Lake City, UT (pop. 198,000) will use RCV for its November 2021 elections, along with 22 other cities in Utah.
- April, 2021 - Draper, UT will use RCV for its November 2021 elections (largest city in UT thus far)
- March, 2021 - HB21-1071 in CO has advanced out of two committees. It will allow county clerks to administer RCV elections for municipalities when requested, and allow municipalities to share costs with each other.
- March, 2021 - Burlington, VT passes RCV for city council elections
- March 29th, 2021 - Maine - A proposal that would extend ranked voting to offices such as governor and state legislature seats has succeeded in committee and will move on to the full legislature. Read the article.
- March 25th, 2021 - Georgia: RCV for military and overseas citizens signed into law.
- March 16th, 2021 - Utah now allows municipalities to contract with external county clerks to implement RCV - the local county clerk can no longer veto implementation. Currently, 28 of 29 county clerks do not offer RCV option. In the wake of this decision, the Salt Lake City Council is considering using RCV in 2021 municipal elections- the mayor and multiple council members are supportive.
- March 12th, 2021 - RCV and is being considered by 29 state legislatures this year alone. The Pew Charitable Trusts tells the story: http://bit.ly/3rLQrqi
- March 8th, 2021 - The Minnetonka, MN City Council approved the use of RCV for city elections, after voters passed this in Nov 2020. This eliminates the need for primary elections, which are expensive.
- February, 2021 - Queens, NY uses RCV for the first time after Nov 2019 enactment via ballot for NYC - 95% found it to be very or somewhat simple.
- 2020 - Virginia HB 1103—Permitted RCV to be used in local elections.
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The alternative vote: Do changes in single-member voting systems affect descriptive representation of women and minorities?