Please use and modify whichever of
these is most appropriate, and please contact us at 301-270-4616 or
[email protected] for assistance in
drafting legislation.

**General statutory
language**

**Title: **An Act Relating to the Election of
Candidates by the Method of Instant Runoff Voting

**Summary**

This bill implements the instant runoff voting
method of determining winners in elections. The method produces a
majority winner in a single election by simulating a series of
runoff elections. All first choices are counted, and if any
candidate receives a majority of first choices, that candidate is
elected. If no
candidate receives a majority, the candidate with the fewest votes
is eliminated, and all ballots are recounted as one vote for each
voterís highest-ranked candidate who has not been eliminated. The process of eliminating
candidates and recounting ballots continues until one candidate
receives a majority.

**Section 1: **BALLOT SPECIFICATIONS AND
DIRECTIONS TO VOTERS

Ballots approved under this section shall be
simple and easy to understand, and shall allow a voter to rank
candidates for an office in order of choice. The voter may include
no more than one write-in candidate among his or her ranked choices
for each office. If feasible, ballots shall be designed such that
voters may mark their first choices in the same manner as that for
offices not elected by instant runoff voting. Sample ballots
illustrating voting procedures shall be posted in or near the voting
booth, and shall be included in the instruction packet of absentee
ballots.

Directions provided to voters shall conform
substantially to the following specifications, although subject to
modification based on ballot design and voting machine:

ìVote for candidates by indicating your first-choice
candidate, your second-choice candidate and so on.
Indicate your first choice by marking the number ì1î beside a
candidate's name, your second choice by marking the number ì2î by
that candidate's name, your third choice by marking the number ì3,î
and so on, for as many choices as you wish. You are free to rank
only one candidate, but ranking additional candidates cannot help
defeat your first-choice candidate. Do not mark the same number
beside more than one candidate. Do not skip numbers.î

**Section 2:** BALLOT COUNTING

The first choice marked on each ballot shall be
counted initially by election officials.

If any candidate receives a majority of the first
choices, that candidate shall be declared elected.

If no candidate receives a majority of first
choices, the Secretary of State shall conduct the instant runoff
consisting of additional rounds of ballot counting.

In every round of counting, each ballot is
counted as one vote for that ballot's highest ranked advancing
candidate. ìAdvancing candidateî means a candidate for that office
who has not been eliminated.

A candidate receiving a majority of valid votes
in a round is declared elected. If no candidate receives a
majority of valid votes in a round, the candidate with the fewest
votes shall be eliminated, and all ballots shall be recounted.

This process of eliminating the candidate with
the fewest votes and recounting all ballots shall continue until one
candidate receives a majority of the valid votes in a round.

If a ballot has no more available choices ranked
on it, that ballot shall be declared ìexhaustedî and not counted in
that round or any subsequent round. Ballots skipping one number
shall be counted for that voter's next clearly indicated choice, but
ballots skipping more than one number will be declared exhausted
when this skipping of numbers is reached. Ballots with two or more
of the same number shall be declared exhausted when such duplicate
rankings are reached** **unless only one of the candidates with
the duplicate ranking is an advancing
candidate.

**Section 3: **DETERMINATIONS IN THE CASE OF A
TIE

Any ties that could affect the outcome of the
election shall be resolved in accordance with the general election
laws of the state of _______.

**Section 4: **PROVISION FOR CHANGE OF VOTING
METHOD

The legislative body or election authorities may
provide for the use of mechanical, electronic or other devices for
marking, sorting and counting the ballots and tabulating the
results, and may modify the form of the ballots, the directions to
voters, and the details with respect to the method of marking,
sorting, counting, invalidating, and retaining of ballots, and the
tabulating and recounting of votes, provided that no change shall be
made which will alter the intent or principles embodied in this
law.

**Section 5: **PROVISION TO MODIFY THE INSTANT
RUNOFF VOTING BALLOT AND COUNT.

A) If the Secretary of State determines that the
number of candidates for a particular office exceeds the practical
space requirements for ranking all candidates on the ballot, the
number of allowable rankings can be limited to no fewer than four
candidates or the total number of candidates.

B) To facilitate ballot counting in any round,
the Secretary of State may simultaneously eliminate all candidates
with no mathematical chance of winning. A candidate has no
mathematical chance of winning if the sum total of all votes
credited to that candidate and any candidate with fewer votes is
less than the number of votes credited to the candidate with the
next greatest number of votes.

**Section 6: **EFFECTS ON RIGHTS OF POLITICAL
PARTIES.

For all statutory and constitutional provisions
in the state of _______ pertaining to the rights of political
parties, the number of votes cast for a party's candidate for a
particular office shall be defined as the number of votes credited
to that candidate after the initial round of counting.

**Statutory language for
jurisdictions with a plurality requirement**

**Title: **An Act Relating to the Election of
Candidates by the Method of Instant Runoff Voting

**Summary**

This bill implements the instant runoff voting
method of determining winners in elections. The method simulates the
ballot counts that would occur if all voters participated in a
series of runoff elections with the weakest candidate eliminated
after each round of counting. Each time a candidate is eliminated,
all ballots are recounted, and each ballot counts as one vote for
the voterís highest-ranked candidate who has not been eliminated.
Rounds proceed until there are two candidates remaining, and the
candidate with the most votes is declared the winner.

**Section 1: **BALLOT SPECIFICATIONS AND
DIRECTIONS TO VOTERS

Ballots approved under this section shall be
simple and easy to understand, and shall allow a voter to rank
candidates for an office in order of choice. The voter may include
no more than one write-in candidate among his or her ranked choices
for each office. If feasible, ballots shall be designed such that
voters may mark their first choices in the same manner as that for
offices not elected by instant runoff voting. Sample ballots
illustrating voting procedures shall be posted in or near the voting
booth, and shall be included in the instruction packet of absentee
ballots.

Directions provided to voters shall conform
substantially to the following specifications, although subject to
modification based on ballot design and voting machine:

ìVote for candidates by indicating your first-choice
candidate, your second-choice candidate and so on.
Indicate your first choice by marking the number ì1î beside a
candidate's name, your second choice by marking the number ì2î by
that candidate's name, your third choice by marking the number ì3,î
and so on, for as many choices as you wish. You are free to rank
only one candidate, but ranking additional candidates cannot help
defeat your first-choice candidate. Do not mark the same number
beside more than one candidate. Do not skip numbers.î

**Section 2:** BALLOT COUNTING

The first choice marked on each ballot shall be
counted initially by election officials.

If more than two candidates have received votes
after the initial round of counting, the Secretary of State shall
conduct the instant runoff consisting of additional rounds of ballot
counting.

In every round of counting, each ballot is
counted as one vote for that ballot's highest ranked advancing
candidate. ìAdvancing candidateî means a candidate for that office
who has not been eliminated.

In each additional round, the Secretary shall
eliminate the candidate with the fewest votes and recount all
ballots as one vote for each voterís highest ranked advancing
candidate. This process of counting votes and eliminating the
candidate with the fewest votes shall continue until two candidates
remain.

The candidate with the most votes then shall be
declared the winner.

If a ballot has no more available choices ranked
on it, that ballot shall be declared ìexhaustedî and not counted in
that round or any subsequent round. Ballots skipping one number
shall be counted for that voter's next clearly indicated choice, but
ballots skipping more than one number will be declared exhausted
when this skipping of numbers is reached. Ballots with two or more
of the same number shall be declared exhausted when such duplicate
rankings are reached** **unless only one of the candidates with
the duplicate ranking is an advancing
candidate.

**Section 3: **DETERMINATIONS IN THE CASE OF A
TIE

Any ties that could affect the outcome of the
election shall be resolved in accordance with the general election
laws of the state of _______.

**Section 4: **PROVISION FOR CHANGE OF VOTING
METHOD

The legislative body or election authorities may
provide for the use of mechanical, electronic or other devices for
marking, sorting and counting the ballots and tabulating the
results, and may modify the form of the ballots, the directions to
voters, and the details with respect to the method of marking,
sorting, counting, invalidating, and retaining of ballots, and the
tabulating and recounting of votes, provided that no change shall be
made which will alter the intent or principles embodied in this
law.

**Section 5: **PROVISION TO MODIFY THE INSTANT
RUNOFF VOTING BALLOT AND COUNT.

A) If the Secretary of State determines that the
number of candidates for a particular office exceeds the practical
space requirements for ranking all candidates on the ballot, the
number of allowable rankings can be limited to no fewer than five
candidates or the total number of candidates.

B) To facilitate ballot counting in any round,
the Secretary of State may simultaneously eliminate all candidates
with no mathematical chance of winning. A candidate has no
mathematical chance of winning if the sum total of all votes
credited to that candidate and any candidate with fewer votes is
less than the number of votes credited to the candidate with the
next greatest number of votes.

**Section 6: **EFFECTS ON RIGHTS OF POLITICAL
PARTIES.