How do I mark my Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) ballot?

Rank the candidates in order of preference: select 1 for your most preferred candidate, 2 for your next most preferred candidate, and so on.

How many candidates should I rank? Do I have to rank all of them?

You may rank as many or as few candidates as you wish.

Should I rank only the candidates I like? Only those I really like?

We recommend ranking all candidates, even those you prefer not to win. Ranking more candidates will increase the effectiveness of your ballot in deciding who the winners will be.

What happens if I don’t rank all of the candidates?

Any candidates that you don’t rank are effectively treated as being tied as your least preferred candidates. If you rank only some of the candidates, you are effectively abstaining from any decision between the candidates you did not rank.

Can ranking a less preferred candidate help to defeat my more preferred candidates?

No. Your ballot will count for your less preferred candidate only after each of your more preferred candidates has been elected or defeated. There is no advantage to withholding rankings from less preferred candidates.

What if there are several candidates for which I can’t decide my preferences?

Consider learning more about those candidates so you can complete your preferences. Ask yourself: if the decision for being a winner came down to a choice between just these candidates, which one would I prefer to be on the board? If you still can’t decide, it is still your option to not rank them.

I don’t think my most preferred candidate can win. Should I instead rank a candidate that I think has a higher chance of winning as my first choice?

Just sincerely rank the candidates in your order of preference. With ranked choice voting, you don’t have to guess what other voters will do or guess which candidates will be elected and defeated. If your most preferred candidate is defeated, your vote will be automatically counted for the candidate that has become your most preferred candidate from among those that have not yet been elected or defeated.