Where in America they are using ranked choice voting
In most states, voters going to the polls next month will select one candidate for each office, and the winner will be whoever gets the most votes, whether it’s a majority, or just 34% in a multi-candidate race. But some states have different models.
In Maine, ranked-choice voting is used in federal elections. Candidates are nominated in party primaries as they are in most places, but if no candidate gets 50%, voters’ second choices are calculated. The first member of Congress elected through ranked choice was Democrat Jared Golden, a Marine Corps veteran and Problem Solver who has frequently bucked his party. In 2018, Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin initially won 46.3% of the vote to Golden’s 45.6%, with two independents getting the rest. But when second-choice votes were accounted for, Golden won by about 3,500 votes.
On the other edge of the continent, Alaska this year introduced a system where all candidates of all parties ran in a single primary, with the top four finishers advancing to the general election. Incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski, a longtime No Labels ally, led the primary field with 45%, followed by Donald Trump-endorsed conservative Republican Kelly Tshibaka with 39%, and a Democrat and a third Republican also advancing. The November election will use ranked-choice voting.
Both Golden’s race and Murkowski’s are expected to be extremely close.