Anti-IDC Senators: "Ranked Choice Voting Gives Voters More Choice and More Voice"

Biaggi, Jackson, Myrie, Ramos, Salazar announce support for Ranked Choice Voting

NEW YORK, NY (09/13/2019) (readMedia)-- On the anniversary of the Blue Wave that swept the anti-IDC senators into office, Senators Alessandra Biaggi, Robert Jackson, Zellnor Myrie, Jessica Ramos, and Julia Salazar announced their support for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). RCV allows voters the option to rank their top five candidates in order of preference, or vote for just one candidate like they always have. Ranked Choice Voting is Proposal 1 on the ballot in New York City this November.

"A year ago New Yorkers voted for major change in Albany, and now we have a chance to do the same in New York City with Ranked Choice Voting. Ranked Choice Voting puts power back in the hands of the people, by giving voters more options and elevating new, diverse candidates so that every community has a voice."


Ranked choice voting gives voters the choice of ranking their top five candidates in primary and special elections. If voters still want to vote for just one candidate, they can.

If on election day when all the first-choices are counted a candidate has a majority of the vote (over 50%), then she or he wins. If there's no majority, the last-place candidate is eliminated and that candidate's second choices are redistributed, and so on until there's a winner.

Other cities like San Francisco, Minneapolis and Santa Fe, and countries like Australia and Ireland have implemented ranked choice voting to great success. Kansas Democrats are currently using ranked choice voting to select their presidential nominee.

Most candidates win crowded elections in New York City by campaigning to their base, and fail to get a majority. With ranked choice voting, candidates will be forced to campaign to the broader electorate in the hopes of being ranked second or third. Ranked choice voting helps create consensus candidates with majority support.

In the last three election cycles in New York City, sixty-three percent of multi-candidate primaries were won with less than 50% of the vote, 30% were won with less than 40%, and nearly 10% were won with less than 30%. In 2021, close to 70% of the New York City Council members, and all five borough presidents, the Comptroller and Mayor, will be term limited. The New York City Campaign Finance Board is already anticipating the opening of at least 500 campaign committees, which averages to 12 candidates per race.

In early April, Common Cause/NY released a new analysis that builds on a previous report -- The Case for Ranked Choice Voting in New York City -- which quantifies the prevalence of multi-candidate primaries in the last three election cycles in NYC. The study found:

  • Over the last three election cycles, the average number of candidates ranged from 4 to 5.
  • Over the last three election cycles, less than 15% of multi-candidate primaries with 4 or more candidates produced majority support winners.
  • In 2013, the last primary election cycle with a wave of open seats, no race with 4 or more candidates produced a majority support winner.