What happens if my favorite candidate loses and my second choice can't use my vote?
The goal of choice voting is to have as many voters as mathematically possible have their vote help elect their highest-ranked candidate who can win with their vote. If your favorite candidate is in last place and loses, your ballot is counted for your next highest ranked "active candidate" still in the race. An active candidate is one who has not already won or already lost. So if your second choice is an active candidate, your ballot will count for that candidate. If your second choice has already won or lost, your ballot will move to your next-highest choice is an active candidate.

You can see how this makes sense if you think about what would happen if all voters were standing in a large room and standing behind their favorite candidates. If your favorite candidate lost and you had to move to your next choice in the room, you would only see candidates who hadn't already won or been defeated -- you would move across the room to your next choice candidate to help them win.

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.