For Immediate Release
/ March 24th 2006

South Carolina Gov. Signs Instant Runoff Voting Bill

Military and Overseas Voters will Benefit

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford signed a bill into law today to provide an instant runoff voting (IRV) ballot for military and overseas voters. The ballot will allow them to cast a meaningful vote should a runoff election become necessary.

South Carolina joins Louisiana and Arkansas in providing ranked choice ballots to military personnel that allow voters to rank their choices. South Carolina and Louisiana provide the ballot to both military and non-military overseas voters. The move comes as more and more states, such as Alabama, are exploring this policy.

A voter's ballot is counted in the runoff for the top-ranked candidate who has advanced to the runoff. In the event a voter's first choice is not in the runoff, the ballot will count for the second or third choice, depending on which candidate has advanced to the runoff. A voter can choose to rank only one candidate.

FairVote is a nonprofit, nonpartisan election reform group that has long advocated IRV ballots as a commonsense way to include our troops and other overseas voters in the democratic process in the event of runoffs.

Text of the South Carolina bill:

How ranked choice ballots work in Louisiana: