runoff elections
e-mail me


Instant Runoff Voting in Use or Pending Implementation in the United States

Six places in the United States have implemented IRV, either by using machines or hand counting, the rest are awaiting new voting systems or software:
San Francisco, Basalt Colorado, Burlington Vermont, Pierce County Washington, Takoma Park Maryland, and Aspen Colorado have implemented IRV or will implement it for November 2008. * if a reader has updates or new info please email us. Update, see June 2009 Places that Have Ditched Instant Runoff Voting or are Moving to Ditch It Cary, North Carolina, Georgetown University ditched IRV.British Columbia defeated a referendum to adopt IRV. Considering ditching: Pierce County WA, Burlington Vt. and possibly Aspen CO.
Instant runoff voting adopted in the USA, either adopted and pending, or implemented
2002 San Francisco, California -Will count IRV manually until  new equipment gets federally certified.
Has purchased Seqouioa optical scanners and touchscreens,
will manually count the IRV contests unless the Sequoia software obtains federal certification by Nov 2008.
In 2007 Previous equipment, ES&S Optech Eagles
reported by the Secretary of State  as having flawed algorithm.

2002. Basalt, Colorado - no information on how "instant runoff" is tabulated. The town is small enough to hand count the ballots. Most of Co used to be hand counted until HAVA passed. 
March 1, 2008. No instant runoff called for, winner in "first" round. Basalt's population was only 2,681 at the 2000 census so they can probably count IRV ballots by hand.
2004.  Ferndale, Michigan -The city of Ferndale, Michigan
passed (68%) instant runoff voting in 2004  pending implementation.

2004. Berkeley, California - The city of Berkeley, California passed (72%) instant runoff voting in 2004 pending implementation

2005. Burlington, Vermont - This city uses Diebold optical scanners with uncertified software to tabulate the IRV contest.  
IRV applies  to the mayor’s race.
There's no way to be sure that the system works unless someone audites the election or recounts it by hand.

2006. Minneapolis, Minnesota  -
Pending implementation sometime in 2013.  Their voting machines cannot tabulate IRV. They are looking for voting machines, and issued an RFP on May 1, 2008. 
Lawsuit challenges Minneapolis instant runoff voting system Dec 20, 2007 ... Foes, including the Minnesota Voters Alliance, which filed the lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court...In January 2008 the "Ranked Choice Voting Issues Group issued a report on options for implementing "instant runoff"  or ranked choice voting.
2006.  Pierce County will implement IRV in November 2008.  Pierce County needed "emergency" certification for their voting equipment because it had not received federal certification yet.  Flaws were uncovered in the software when interacting with the Sequoia Insight Optical scanners. As a result, these scanners, used for precinct voting - will not be allowed.  The Sequoia Edge DRE/touchscreens and the Sequoia Central Count Scanner will be used.  Pierce is mostly vote by mail, so the touchscreens might not get alot of use.  This Sequoia Equipment is not federally certified. See the report at Voters Unite.
Pierce County renamed IRV and now calls it Ranked Choice Voting. 
2006. Takoma Park, Maryland. Manual counting.
Takoma Park, Maryland had their first "IRV" election Jan. 30, 2007 . It is not clear if Takoma has voting machines.
There were only 204 ballots cast, they of course counted them by hand, and there was no need for a runoff.  The winner, Reuben Snipper  obtained 53% of the first choice votes in the first round and won election. 

2006. Oakland, California. Pending implementation.
The city of Oakland, California voters passed (69%) a measure in November 2006 to adopt IRV for its city offices, pending implementation 

2007 Aspen, Colorado - likely hand counting. Aspen, Colorado passed IRV (77%) in November 2007 
This is a town that could easily hand count its IRV contests, but the method of tabulation isn't publicized.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,914 people. Aspen is in Pitkin County, which has Diebold touchscreens and Optical scanners. 
 There is no certified IRV software for Diebold yet (2008) 

2007. Sarasota, Florida - Not used yet (2008). Sarasota just switched to new machines, Diebold optical scanners, not clear if they are IRV capable, there is no certified IRV software for Diebold at this time.  Could be manually counted.

2008 Santa Fe, New Mexico -  On March 4, 2008, the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, passed a referundum for IRV (Called Ranked Choice voting) by a vote of 5659 to 3044 (65% for).  Ranked choice voting would go into effect commencing with the regular municipal election in March 2010 or as soon thereafter when equipment and software for tabulating the votes and allowing correction of incorrectly marked, in-person ballots are available at a reasonable price.