In June 2023, New York City held its second major Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) election.  New Yorkers in 24 City Council primaries had the chance to rank their candidates in order of preference. Only 3 races went to rounds, and the public was able to monitor online with improved RCV reporting features.

In June 2021, nearly one million New Yorkers made history by voting in the largest and most diverse Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) election in the country. Voters embraced RCV with 83% of voters ranking at least two candidates on their ballots in the mayoral primary.

Since voters’ approval of Ranked Choice Voting in 2019, Common Cause New York actively worked with Rank the Vote NYC to ensure its smooth implementation. Together, we conducted more than 500 RCV trainings for voters, candidates, partner organizations, and elected officials; distributed over one million pieces of informational literature and built partnerships with more than 750 organizations.

How does Ranked Choice Voting work in NYC?

Instead of voting for just one candidate, New Yorkers are now able to rank their top 5 candidates from first to last choice on the ballot in all primary and special elections for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President and City Council. If voters still want to vote for just one candidate, they can.

A candidate who collects a majority of the vote, fifty percent plus one, wins. If no candidate receives over 50 percent of the first choice preferences, the candidate with the fewest first choice preferences is eliminated and voters who ranked that candidate first have their ballots instantly counted for their second choice preference. The process is repeated until there’s a final pair with a majority winner.

How does this change our local elections?

With Ranked Choice Voting:

  • Politicians have to compete everywhere and pay attention to every community.
  • Your vote has more impact and puts more power in the hands of New Yorkers.
  • Candidates win with a clear majority, greater than 50% of the vote.
  • Saves money by avoiding costly citywide runoffs.
  • Helps New Yorkers make sense of crowded elections.

Stay tuned for important updates as we approach the 2025 election cycle. Visit our friends at Rank the Vote NYC for educational resources and more information.

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Voting Systems and Elections Administration