A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding ranked-choice voting. While this page includes FAQs, the information included is not legal advice. For exact language and legal requirements, view Portland City Code and City Charter.
Is there a limit to the number of candidates appearing on the ballot since only six rankings are allowed?
No. There is no limit to the number of qualifying candidates appearing on the ballot under each position. However, voters will be limited to ranking up to 6 total candidates, including any write-in candidate(s). For example, if 10 candidates are listed for a position, a voter would be able to choose their top 6 candidates and rank those candidates by preference. The remaining 4 candidates would be unable to be ranked by the voter.
What happens if I skipped one or more rankings on my ballot?
If you skip any rankings on your ballot, as long as there are any candidates ranked lower who have not been elected or defeated, your vote will transfer to that candidate instead. For example, if you rank Candidate A as your 1st choice, skip ranking a 2nd and 3rd choice, and then rank Candidate B as your 4th choice, Candidate B will be elevated to your 2nd choice.
What happens if I ranked multiple candidates in a single ranking?
Giving the same ranking to more than one candidate is referred to as an overvote. When this happens, any rankings containing multiple candidates will be passed over and the next highest candidate that has not been elected or defeated will be elevated to their place. For example, if you rank Candidate A and B both as your 1st choice, and then Candidate C as your 3rd choice, Candidates A and B will be passed over and Candidate C will be treated as your 1st choice. Likewise, if you rank Candidate A and B as your 1st choice, and Candidate C as your 2nd choice, Candidate C will be treated as your 1st choice.
What happens if I ranked the same candidate in multiple rankings?
Ranking a single candidate multiple times on your ballot is referred to as repeat rankings. When this happens, the highest ranking for that candidate will be counted and any lower rankings will be passed over as if they were blank. For example, if you rank Candidate A as your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th choices, and then rank Candidate B as your 5th choice, Candidate A will be your 1st choice and Candidate B will be elevated to your 2nd choice.
Have additional questions? Please contact the City Elections Office at email@example.com or 503-865-6503.