Implementing Choice VotingImplementing a ranked choice voting (RCV) system requires election officials to be cognizant of certain differences between ranked ballot systems and typical plurality or winner-take-all systems. From voting equipment to voter education, ranked choice systems may bring changes to a community's election system and practices. FairVote's Ranked Voting Guidelinesdocument therefore serves to illustrate the various components necessary to successfully implement an RCV election, using either the instant runoff or choice voting method.This document specifies guidelines for the conduct of ranked voting elections, where ranked voting includes both instant runoff voting (IRV) for single-winner contests and choice voting for multiple-winner contests. This document includes ballot, tabulation, reporting, manual audit, and recount guidelines. The guidelines for computer tabulation and hand tabulation are treated separately where appropriate.
[DOWNLOAD RANKED VOTING GUIDELINES - .pdf]
Jurisdictions purchasing equipment and states appropriating funds for equipment should also ensure that the new equipment gives the jurisdiction maximum flexibility to adopt any legal voting system. Ranked voting elections can be conducted with all kinds of voting equipment. Most modern voting equipment is compatible with all voting systems and ballot types but will generally have to be retrofitted or upgraded in order to make the equipment ready to use different voting systems and ballot types. The only way to ensure machine readiness is to include a provision in the Request for Proposals or appropriations bill. This will not add to the cost of the equipment in most cases, but it could save the cost of an expensive upgrade in the future.