Starting in 2021, NYC will use Ranked Choice Voting in primary and special elections for local offices
You can rank up to 5 candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one.
You can still vote for just one candidate if you prefer.
Why are we using Ranked Choice Voting?
New Yorkers elected to use Ranked Choice Voting in a 2019 ballot measure. It passed with 73.5% support.
Which elections will use Ranked Choice Voting?
NYC will use Ranked Choice Voting in primary and special elections for local offices: Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, Borough President, and City Council.
How to fill out your ballot
Rank up to 5 candidates in order of preference.
- Pick your first-choice candidate and completely fill in the oval next to their name under the 1st column.
- If you have a second-choice candidate, fill in the oval next to their name under the 2nd column.
- You can rank up to 5 candidates. You can still choose to vote for only one candidate if you prefer. Ranking other candidates does not harm your first choice.
Do not rank a candidate more than once. If you do, only your top ranking for them will count.
Do not give multiple candidates the same ranking. If you choose more than one candidate as your first choice, your ballot will not be valid.
How your ballot will be counted
If a candidate receives more than 50% of first-choice votes, they win the election.
If no candidate earns more than 50% of first-choice votes, then counting will continue in rounds.
Each round, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. If your top-choice candidate is eliminated, your vote goes to the next highest ranked candidate on your ballot.
This process continues until there are only 2 candidates left. The candidate with the most votes wins!
What are the benefits of Ranked Choice Voting?
Ranked Choice Voting gives you more say in who gets elected. Even if your top choice candidate does not win, you can still help choose who does.
More civility and less negative campaigning. Candidates who are not your top choice still need your support as your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th choice. This makes them more likely to appeal to a wider audience.
More diverse and representative candidates win elections. Cities that have implemented Ranked Choice Voting have elected more women and more women of color, making their elected officials more representative of their communities.
For more information, check out our Ranked Choice Voting FAQs