22 THE QUEENS COURIER • JUNE 10, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Ranked-choice voting put to upcoming primary test
BY ARIEL PACHECO
Call it the one person, up to fi ve votes
Aft er rolling out ranked-choice voting
(RCV) in special elections in Queens
and the Bronx earlier this year, New York
City is poised to use it again in the June
2021 primary elections featuring races
for the offi ces of mayor, public advocate,
comptroller, borough president and City
RCV allows for voters to rank up to fi ve
candidates per offi ce in order of preference
rather than voting for just one candidate.
If a candidate receives more than
50 percent of the fi rst-choice votes, they
are the winner. If no candidate earns more
than 50 percent of the fi rst-choice votes,
then the votes will be tallied in rounds.
At the conclusion of each round, the
candidate with the fewest votes will be
eliminated. If the eliminated candidate
had been the fi rst choice on a ballot, the
vote then transfers to whoever was the
second-choice on the ballot. Th e process
continues until there are two candidates
left . Th e candidate with the most votes is
Voters are allowed to vote for just one
candidate – dubbed a bullet ballot – and
leave the rest of the ballot blank but are
only allowed to vote for one candidate for
each column. If a voter ranks the same
candidate as their fi rst, second, third, etc.
choice, it will still only count as one vote
as it is the same as leaving the second and
third choice blank.
Voters also do not have to vote for fi ve
candidates. Voters will also still be able
to vote for write-in candidates. Th ere is a
“write-in line” on the ballot with an oval
that will indicate where the voter wants to
rank the write-in candidates.
RCV is a variation of the one person,
one vote doctrine fi rst coined in Britain
in 1880, but in America it relates more to
redistricting congressional lines.In 1964,
Wesberry v. Sanders, the U.S. Supreme
Court declared that equality of voting –
one person, one vote – means that “the
weight and worth of the citizens’ votes as
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nearly as is practicable must be the same,”
and ruled that states must also draw federal
congressional districts containing
roughly equal represented populations.
RCV, on the other hand, was implemented
with the argument to help
improve the representation of the voting
system while also helping to cut down
on negative campaigning between candidates.
It allows voters to have more say in
who their elected offi cials are, the argument
Ranked-choice voting is already in use
in many places across the country such
as Minneapolis, Maine and Oakland. Th e
reviews of RCVin some of these municipalities
have been mixed.
City voters approved RCV in a 2019
ballot measure with 73.5 percent of people
voting yes for ranked-choice voting.