Virginia Ranked Choice Voting Bill Updates
Updated: Jan 27
We hoped to have better news for Ranked Choice Voting / Instant RunOff advocates. Despite positive comments and testimony for HB 1751, HB 2118, and HB 2436, they did not make it out of subcommittee on Wednesday (1/25/23.) There are still two Ranked Choice Voting bills that may be heard this session, SB 1380 and HB 2301. (SB 1380 was passed by for day on Tuesday 1/24/23. Meaning it was not heard, but may be docketed later.)
Citizens all across Virginia are asking for Ranked Choice Voting. With greater demand, comes opposition. We have to double down on our efforts to show why majority results are better for all, rather than plurality results. There are so many benefits to using RCV / IRV, when there are three or more candidates in a competition.
When parties use it for primary nominating, they coalesce support around the most electable candidate in one election, in one round of voting. That's certainly more efficient than an 8 or 12 hour run off convention! Run off conventions require a candidate to win with a true majority support. That's why RCV is often called Instant Run Off.
Voters like it, because they can fully express their preferences, rather than strategically voting for only the most popular or the most well-funded option. And if their top choice isn't electable, a more popular pick can be their second choice. Similar candidates won't split the vote in RCV / IRV. No candidate wants to be blamed for being an election "spoiler." Likewise, no voter wants to hear that they are "wasting" their vote on a lesser known candidate. RCV / IRV ends those arguments.
Strategists and Campaign Managers like it, because you get so much more data to explain voter behavior and inform future campaigns!
Even if no bills pass to expand RCV to more Virginia elections in this General Assembly Session, current law allows Virginia City Councils and County Board of Supervisors to adopt RCV / IRV. There are 95 counties and 38 cities that can choose to adopt a better way to hold elections, when there are three or more candidates. Virginia's first locality will hold a Board of Supervisors primary by RCV in June 2023!
Let us know if you'd like to ask your City Council or Board of Supervisors to adopt RCV / IRV!