Who uses ranked choice voting?

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) has many names.  It is known as ranked ballots, Instant Runoff Voting,
alternative voting, and preferential ballots.  RCV is used extensively around the world.


Toronto City Council passed a motion to examine ranked choice voting for their elections in June 2013.  There is a growing movement for ranked choice voting for other Ontario municipalities as well.

Cities across the USA use Ranked Choice Voting to elect their mayor and/or city councillors. Recently, many of those cities (including San Francisco and Minneapolis) have modified their system, switching to RCV (full list here).  Just in the last five years, successful campaigns have been launched in Minneapolis, Oakland, Sarasota, Santa Fe, Memphis and St. Paul.
All municipalities in the United Kingdom use RCV, and many municipalities in Australia and New Zealand use RCV as well.

Political Parties

Many of Canada’s political parties use RCV to choose their leaders. This change was made to boost internal democracy within the parties, allowing all members to vote – not just those who attend the convention. Canadian political parties have always used some form of runoff system to choose their leaders, and to nominate the local candidates.

Other groups

Academy Awards: In 2010, the Academy Awards adopted RCV to choose Best Picture! This was done to avoid a situation where a movie could ‘win’ with only 20% support in the Academy.

NHL and NBA: The NHL uses RCV to choose its Hart, Norris, Calder, Lady Byng, Selke, Vezina and Jack Adams award winners every year – with points awarded based on where each player has been ranked. The NBA uses the same system to choose its top player awards too.

Media: In journalistic circles, the Canadian Press uses RCV for picking its leading Canadian athletes every year including male and female athletes of the year and team of the year.