Ranked-Choice Voting Movement Proposes To Change Jacksonville's Ballot Process

Oct 7, 2019

An election reform push in Duval County is aimed at improving low voter turnout in municipal elections.

An example of ranked-choice voting.
Credit Mark / Wikimedia Commons

The ranked-choice voting proposal would eliminate runoff elections.

Activist Perry Waag explained how it works on Monday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross:

“You have to pick from the first round choices and then if no one has a majority vote you have a second round with ranked choice voting - or some people call it instant runoff voting. The first time you go into vote you say, okay, this is my first choice. This is my second choice, this is my third choice, etc. If you don't want to rank - and you don't have to - if you want to just pick one, you can. But that way they don't have to you have come back out and vote a second time for a run off. Just they tabulate on the backside.”

Waag said ranked-choice voting is being used in some other cities, including Sarasota.  

His group, Ranked-Choice Voting Jacksonville (RCV Jax), claims eliminating the second round run-off election would save the city $1.2 million every election cycle. 

Related: Listen to the full interview with Waag and his RCV Jax partner Drew Aitken

Waag’s website, rcvjax.org, is circulating a petition to amend Jacksonville’s city charter to switch to ranked choice voting.

Maine was the first state to adopt the method, which it plans to roll it out for next year’s presidential election.

Michelle Corum can be reached at mcorum@wjct.org, 904-358-6308 or on Twitter at @MCorumonME.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.