The Do’s and Don'ts of Ranked Choice Voting

June 11, 2021 4:18 PM

Ranked Choice Voting is coming to NYC elections this month. With Ranked Choice Voting, individuals can rank up to 5 candidates for a given race, rather than the traditional method of choosing one single candidate.

Before you head to the polls, here are a few things to make sure you do and some other mistakes to avoid on your ranked ballot.

DO vote for up to 5 candidates for a given race, without hurting your 1st choice candidate.

  • You can rank one candidate, five candidates, or any number in between.
  • It is important to know that ranking more candidates only gives you more of a say in the outcome of the election. It does not hurt your 1st choice candidate whatsoever.
  • This is why: Only if your first place is eliminated from the election will your vote be redistributed to your 2nd choice candidate, and so on. In other words, if your 1st choice candidate is never eliminated, your 2nd choice vote remains on the back burner and that 2nd choice candidate will not get the support of your vote.

DO NOT vote for your favorite candidate — or any candidate— more than once.

  • Some voters may incorrectly think ranking their first choice candidate for all 5 spots will boost their prospects, but it actually achieves the opposite. Marking any candidate more than once will effect whether your vote is counted, so DO NOT DO THIS!

DO know the dates for the upcoming elections!

  • Ranked Choice Voting will be used for the NYC local and primary elections. Early voting is open from June 12th to June 20th, and Election Day is Tuesday, June 22nd. We’ve endorsed Eric Adams for NYC Mayor, Corey Johnson for Comptroller, Donovan Richards for Queens Borough President, and Mark Levine for Manhattan Borough President. We've also endorsed over 40 candidates that support our Union for NYC City Council. Support your Union by voting for these pro-union candidates!

DO NOT give any candidates the same ranking

  • You can mark only ONE candidate for 1st choice, ONE candidate for 2nd choice, ONE candidate for 3rd choice, and so on. Ranking two candidates as your first choice, for example, will get your ballot thrown out.

And if this is all too much, just stick to this: rank up to five candidates, and each candidate only once. With these simple rules in mind, get excited knowing your vote has the potential to go even farther in these upcoming primary and special elections.