Voters in San Francisco will use a system called ranked-choice voting, or instant runoff, to elect a mayor on Tuesday. The city is one of many around the country, including Portland, Maine, and Telluride, Colo., using the system, which allows voters to rank their favorite candidates; the winner is determined using a complicated mathematical formula. Ranked-choice voting, which eliminates the need for primary elections, will be put to the test in San Francisco where 16 candidates are on the ballot.
At a city senior center recently, elections worker John Draper explained the system to some elderly voters, assuring them that it was simple. “We just want to ask ourselves: Who do we want to win this election; Who is our favorite candidate? And vote for them in the first column,” Draper said.
He explained that if a voter’s first choice comes in last in the first round, his vote will be transferred to their second choice and so on.
“You don’t need to understand the algorithm the computer uses to count; you don’t need to know the whole math possibilities,” he said.
But after Draper’s presentation, voter Erlinda Maloney admitted she still finds the ballot a little confusing.
“I am surprised … why do they have three names here? I was staring and reading this and I said, ‘This is impossible,'” Maloney said.
Full Article: Ranked Choice Put To The Test In S.F. Mayor Race : NPR.