One of the under-reported stories of the 2020 election is that ranked choice voting was used for the first time in a US presidential election, in the state of Maine. A ranked ballot dramatically mitigates the "spoiler" effect of third party candidates (think Jill Stein 2016/Ralph Nader 2000).

There are good reasons to consider other voting methods, but RCV is a huge improvement over simple first-past-the-post voting. I hope we'll see it in more states soon.

@eloquence uh, cool! Would be very interested to see the vote result in detail! Is that data available?

@eloquence Alaska approved ranked choice voting for federal elections as well, so there will be at least 2 states to use RCV in 2022

@firewally @eloquence unfortunately it was decisively defeated in MA, second time it’s failed by referendum here.

@alex That's a bummer. We have RCV for city-level races in Mpls and StP, but I don't think the campaign has made much headway at the state level

@eloquence speaking as an Australian, welcome to the 20th Century! :awesome:

Interesting they did it with a grid of boxes like that, rather than just allowing write-in of the numbers, seems like it'd be hard to scale that up to like, 20+ candidates.

Wonder what the thought process behind that is ... literacy? It makes the instructions to the voter pretty complex though.


If you're interested in efficient voting systems, you should look up Majority Judgment. It's much better than ranked lists, and also simpler. Thanks for the good news !


I'm familiar with majority judgment (and many other voting systems). The adherents of any one system tend to make (sometimes persuasive) theoretical arguments in their favor, but without seeing how it actually fares in real-world elections, it's difficult to evaluate such claims.

AFAIK MJ has never been used in a real-world election for political office. Am I wrong?

I'm not sure what you mean by office, but in the last municipal elections in France, MJ has been used by 25% of the ~400 municipalities, with great feedback from the participants. It's also the system being used in wine contests, and that can't be overlooked !


Interesting, do you have any link(s) with more info about the use in municipal elections? Wikipedia does not mention it (including in French in and I'm not able to find any online reference to it.

I'm sorry I don't have any links handy (yet), thanks for asking !
I know this from personal experience (I am a french citizen), and the number (25%) comes directly from the people at who orchestrated the operation with the various municipalities. The number does come directly from adherents of the MJ system ; you are right to be cautious. I'll ask them for sources ! Meanwhile, there are local articles about it :

I don't win money or anything from promoting MJ, and I apologize if my statement was blunt. I think that MJ is superior to other systems, including ranked voting, because it's simple and subtle ; you don't even need computers to see who wins.

@eloquence Seems like the kind of change that should start at the municipal level -- use a ranked ballot to pick the mayor of Boston! -- then, once voters are comfortable with it, extend to other elections.


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