Tuesday, November 9, 2021

States That Need RCV to Replace Runoff Elections

A Runoff Election is a Second Election, held to determine a Winner, when No Candidate in the First Election, met the Required Threshold for Victory. Runoff Elections can be held for both Primary Elections and General Elections.

Primary Election Runoffs:

Ten States conduct Runoff Elections, as part of their Party Nomination Process. These Runoffs occur when No Candidate reaches the required Threshold for Victory. In most States, this is a Majority, as Opposed to a Plurality of the Vote. In North Carolina, however, the Threshold for Victory in the Primary Election is 30% of the Vote plus One.

The following are the Ten States that use Primary Runoff Elections:





North Carolina


South Carolina

South Dakota - Only for Congressional and Gubernatorial Elections


Vermont - Only for Tie Votes, Adopted RCV in 2020 allowing Cities to Opt-In beginning in 2021.

Primary Election Runoffs trace their Roots to the Turn of the 20th Century in the South. Prior to enacting the Primary and Runoff System, Democrats Nominated Candidates through Conventions. The Democratic Party used the New system to Unite Factions that had Split within the Party in order to Head into the General Election united against the Republican Party. In at least One State, Arkansas, the Democratic Party enacted the New System to Prevent Members of the Klu Klux Klan from Winning Party Primaries with a Small Plurality of the Vote.

The National Conference of State Legislatures said that the Primary and Runoff System was intended to:

- Encourage Candidates to Broaden their Appeal to a Wider range of Voters.

- To Reduce the likelihood of Electing Candidates who are at the Ideological Extremes of a Party.

- To Produce a Nominee who may be more Electable in the General Election.

General Election Runoffs:

Two States, Georgia and Louisiana, require Runoff Elections in a General Election, when No Gandidate receives a Majority of the Vote.

Georgia: Runoff Elections are Required for All Congressional, State Executive, and State Legislative Elections, in which a Candidate does Not receive a Majority. The Top Two Finishers, in the General Election advance to the Runoff. Georgia's Legislature passed a Law implementing this System in the 1960s.

Louisiana: All Candidates running for a Local, State, or Federal Office, appear on the same Ballot in either: October in Odd-numbered years; or November in Even-numbered years), Regardless of their Partisan Affiliations. There is No Primary Election. If a Candidate Wins a Simple Majority of All Votes cast for the Office, they Win the Election. If No Candidate meets that Threshold, the Top-Two Finishers, regardless of their Partisan Affiliations, advance to a Second Election in December. In that Election, the Candidate who Receives the Greatest Number of Votes Wins. The State implemented the System in 1975.

These Runoff Elections need to be Replaced with Rank-Choice-Voting (RCV) and Save the the Tax Payers from funding these Runoffs.

RCV makes Democracy more Fair and Functional. It works in a variety of Contexts. It is a simple Change that can have a Big Impact. RCV is a way to ensure Elections are Fair for All Voters. It allows Voters the Option to Rank Candidates in order of Preference: one, two, three, and so forth. If your Vote cannot help your Top Choice win, your Vote Counts for your Next Choice. If a Candidate receives more than Half of the First Choices in Races where Voters Elect One Winner, that Candidate Wins, just like in a Single-Choice Election. However, if there is No Majority Winner after Counting First Choices, the Race is decided by an "Instant Runoff." The Candidate with the Fewest Votes is Eliminated, and Voters who Picked that Candidate as ‘number 1’ will have their Votes Count for their Next Choice. This Process continues until there’s a Majority Winner or a Candidate Won with more than Half of the Vote.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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