Section 3-102 Ranked Choice Voting.

City Charter Section

City Councilors, the Mayor and the Auditor are elected in the general election, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, using ranked choice voting. Ranked choice voting means an election method in which voters rank candidates for an office or offices in order of the voter’s preference and ballots are counted in rounds. The use of ranked choice voting must commence with the November 2024 election.

The Mayor and the Auditor are elected at-large using a method of ranked choice voting known as instant runoff voting. Instant runoff voting elects the candidate who has a majority of the vote after the initial round of counting based on the number of first rankings each candidate receives. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the initial round, subsequent rounds are counted in which (i) candidates retain the number of votes counted for them in the first and any subsequent rounds that already occurred; and (ii) the candidates having the fewest votes are successively eliminated in rounds and their votes are counted as votes for the candidates who are ranked next on the ballots that had been counted for the eliminated candidates. The process of eliminating candidates and transferring their votes to the next-ranked candidate on ballots repeats until a candidate has a majority of the vote.

Councilors of each district are elected using a proportional method of ranked choice voting known as single transferable vote. This method provides for the candidates to be elected on the basis of a threshold. The threshold is determined by the number of seats to be filled plus one, so that the threshold is the lowest number of votes a candidate must receive to win a seat such that no more candidates can win election than there are seats to be filled. In the initial round, the number of first rankings received by each candidate is the candidate’s vote count. Candidates whose vote counts are at least the threshold are declared elected. Votes that counted for elected candidates in excess of the threshold are called surplus. If fewer candidates are elected in the initial round than there are seats to be filled, the surplus percentage of all votes for the candidates who received a surplus are transferred to the next-highest ranked candidates in proportion to the total numbers of next-highest rankings they received on the ballots that counted for the elected candidate. If, after all surpluses have been counted in a round, no additional candidates have a vote count that is at least the threshold, the candidates with the lowest vote counts are successively eliminated in rounds and their votes are counted as votes for the candidates who are ranked next highest on the ballots that had been counted for the eliminated candidates, until another candidate has a vote count that is at least the threshold or until the number of candidates remaining equals the number of seats that have not yet been filled. The process of transferring surpluses of elected candidates and eliminating candidates continues until all positions are elected.

The Council must adopt an election code for the administration of ranked choice voting. The City must conduct periodic voter education campaigns to familiarize voters with the ranked choice voting methods described above.

[Section replaced November 8, 2022, effective December 14, 2022.]

Search Code, Charter, Policy