Are all first choices counted?
Yes. The ballot count starts with a count of everyone's first choices. Even though Chris wins 16 first choices and only needs eight to win, we count all first choices before continuing with the ballot count. (See "How are Chris' "surplus votes" redistributed?" for more on the count.)

Note that first choices tell us a lot about who is likely to win, as most winners will need strong "core support." In most actual choice voting elections, however, most winners do not reach the victory threshold on first choices alone. For those winners it is important to be the second and lower choice of supporters of other candidates.  
Recent Articles
October 19th 2009
A better election system
Lowell Sun

Election expert Doug Amy explains how choice voting can "inject new blood" into the elections of Lowell (MA), and give voters a greater incentive to participate.

October 16th 2009
Haven't Detroit voters spoken enough?
Livingston Daily

In Detroit, there have been three mayors in the past two years and the current one has come under scrutiny. Perhaps a system like instant runoff voting will help bring political stability to motor city.

August 21st 2009
Black candidate for Euclid school board to test new voting system
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Limited voting, a form of proportional voting, will be used in Euclid (OH), in the hopes of allowing better representation of minorities.

July 2nd 2009
Reforming Albany
New York Times

FairVote's Rob Richie responds in a letter to the editor making the case for proportional voting systems to bring substantive reform to New York's legislature.