Ranked Choice Voting Research
At one of the recent Pierce County Charter Review Commission meetings, several assertions were made about Ranked Choice Voting that deserved further research.
San Francisco County uses Ranked Choice Voting. They use optically scanned ballots that are counted by machine. The model number on the hardware is 4C-400. I believe Pierce County uses optically scanned ballots that are counted by the same hardware. San Francisco has some additional software to count the Ranked Choice votes. Pierce County would have to buy the additional software to implement Ranked Choice Voting.
Previous to using Ranked Choice Voting, San Francisco put all of the candidates on the general election ballot and, if no one won a majority of the votes in the general election, an additional run-off election was held in December. With the implementation of Ranked Choice Voting, the December run-off election has been eliminated. Thus the costs of running San Francisco's elections in 2005 were lower than the costs of running them in 2003. The savings were over $2 million.
Seperately, it was noted in our discussions that both Australia and Ireland use Ranked Choice Voting to elect their legislative bodies. These two countries use Ranked Choice Voting to elect partisan officials. In Australia, the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the Nationals and other political parties contest elections. In Ireland, the Finna Fail, the Finna Gael, the Democratic Left and other political parties contest run candidates.