Why Ranked Choice Voting for the City of Boulder’s mayoral election?
In 2020, a citizen committee “Our Mayor, Our Choice” successfully put forth a City of Boulder Charter Amendment Petition to change the way the City of Boulder elects its mayor through ranked choice voting. Historically, the mayor has been elected through nominations and votes cast among city council. However, in the 2020 General Election over 78% of voters in the City of Boulder voted in favor of having registered voters decide their mayor through ranked choice voting. The first election of the mayor through ranked choice voting (RCV) is set to take place this fall.
What is Ranked Choice Voting?
Ranked choice voting (sometimes referred to as instant runoff voting – see FAQ below for difference) is a voting method that allows voters to rank election contest candidates in order of preference when there are three or more candidates.
How to mark your ballot:
Rank candidates in the order of your preference by filling in the oval as follows:
- In the first column, for your first choice.
- In the second column, for your second choice.
- In the third column, for your third choice.
- You can continue to rank candidates until you run out of allowable rankings, run out of candidates, or do not wish to vote for any remaining candidates.
Want to practice? Try this interactive practice ballot on the City of Boulder’s website (note: practice ballot may not display properly on mobile devices).
- Do not choose more than one candidate in the same column.
- Do not choose the same candidate more than once.
- Do not skip rankings. For example, do not fill in a 1st and 3rd choice without filling in a 2nd choice. Per Secretary of State guidelines, no rankings will be counted after a skipped column/ranking.
How are the votes counted?
All first-choice rankings are counted. If no candidate has more than 50% of the first-choice rankings, the candidate with the fewest first place votes is eliminated, and those ballots then have their 2nd choice counted. This elimination process continues until a candidate has more than 50% of the vote. We only use your 2nd, 3rd, etc. choice if your higher ranked choice(s) are eliminated.