How does ranked-choice voting work?

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A woman puts on an “I voted!” sticker against a pink background.
Learn more about ranked-choice voting and how to vote in the 2024 election. In the Nov. 5, 2024 Election, Portlanders will elect a mayor, auditor, and three councilors to represent their district using ranked-choice voting.
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What is ranked choice voting? 

In a ranked choice voting system, voters have the option to rank candidates in order of preference instead of selecting only one candidate.  

To find out who wins, votes are counted in a series of rounds. In each round, one of two things happens: either a winning candidate is identified and elected, or the candidate in last place is eliminated and voters who ranked that candidate as their first choice will have their votes counted for their next choice. 

Ranked choice voting results in one general election, eliminating primary elections.  

Changes coming to the Nov. 5, 2024 Election

A sample ranked-choice voting ballot filled in correctly; six candidates have one vote and there are no overvotes or skipped rankings.

On Nov. 5, 2024, the City of Portland’s mayor and auditor will be elected in citywide contests using single-winner ranked-choice voting, while 12 Council members (three per district) will be elected using multi-winner ranked-choice voting. 

However, the voting experience won't change much. Portlanders will have a choice for three contests: mayor, auditor, and city councilors from each district. The ballot will show each eligible office with corresponding candidates next to it and space for write-in options. 

Portland voters will then make up to six selections for each of the three contests, ranking their choices in order of preference.

Practice ranking your vote, Portland

We all do some sort of ranked-choice voting in our daily lives. Participate in this mock election to be ready for election day on Nov. 5, 2024. 

This week we're partnering with the Office of Community and Civic Life to promote some community events happening this summer. Let us know what neighborhood events are you most excited to attend?

Taking the mock election on your phone? Use this link for a better experience!

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View the results

Single-winner ranked-choice voting will be used to elect the mayor and auditor

  • Once a candidate receives more than half of the votes in a given round, that candidate is declared the winner. 
  • If no winner is determined in a round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and any votes for that candidate are shifted to those voters' next choice. 
  • A new round begins, and this continues until a winner is declared. 

Multi-winner ranked-choice voting will be used to elect district council members

  • Any candidate receiving more than 25% of the votes in a round is declared a winner. 
  • If any candidate has received more votes than required to win, their extra votes are shifted to those voters’ next choice. 
  • If no winner is determined in a round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and any votes for that candidate are shifted to those voters’ next choice. 
  • A new round begins, and this continues until three candidates have received at least 25% of the vote.  The winners are declared. 

Learn more about how votes are tabulated