St. Paul employs ranked-choice voting in all municipal elections.
Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is a method of voting where you can choose up to three candidates in the order of your preference.
You are given the opportunity to ‘rank’ your vote - first choice, second choice, and third choice.
The identical roster of candidates willbe listed in three columns on your ballot. This voting method allows your vote to count toward another candidate if your favorite (first choice) candidate loses on the first ballot.
For example, if your first-choice candidate doesn’t win, your vote is transferred to your second choice. Then, if your second choice is eliminated, your vote is transferred to your third choice. It is important to understand that you are not required to vote for more than one candidate – the second and third choice candidates are optional. But the advantage to ranking three candidates potentially gives you more of a say in selecting a candidate of your choice.
HOW TO MARK YOUR RCV BALLOT
1) Choose your top candidate. This is your first-choice candidate and will be the vote that is counted first. Mark your first column.
2) If you have a second choice (optional), you may choose an additional candidate. This choice must be different from your first-choice candidate. Mark your second column.
3) If you have a third choice (optional), you may choose an additional (and final) candidate. This choice must be different from your first and second choices. Mark your third column.
HOW YOUR VOTE IS COUNTED
All first-choice votes are counted on the first ballot. If no candidate has the required number of votes on the first ballot to win -- more than 50% -- the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Next, all of the eliminated person’s votes are distributed to whichever candidate those voters ranked second. This elimination process continues until a candidate has over 50% of the vote and therefore has enough votes to win. Election officials will only use your second
or third choices if your previous choices have been eliminated.
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