Voting Our Values – Ranking the vote reflects DC’s commitments towards:

Freedom & Choice

Voters can vote their values and prioritize their favorite candidate while still ranking other good candidates as back-up choices.

Fairness

Winners have to win a real majority and appeal to a broad coalition of voters.

Equity & Solidarity

Communities are not monoliths – multiple candidates should be able to run without “splitting the vote” and reducing community voting power.

How does RCV work?

Ranked choice voting allows you to rank up to 5 of your favorite candidates in order of preference in all DC elections.

If your first choice candidate comes in last, you still get to have your voice heard in the process with your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th choice ranking coming into play. See an example below.

RCV puts voters first. It puts more power in the hands of voters, where it belongs.

With Ranked Choice Voting, your vote has more impact on the outcome of elections.

Practice Ranking Our Mock Candidates!

Rank up to 5 candidates, mark no more than 1 oval in each column

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ranked Choice Voting?

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows voters to rank candidates by preference instead of choosing just one. It works like this:

1st Choice: The candidate you love.

2nd choice: The candidate you like.

3rd or 4th choice: The candidate you like slightly less.

5th choice: The candidate you can stand.

RCV puts voters first. It puts more power in the hands of voters, where it belongs.

With Ranked Choice Voting, your vote has more impact on the outcome of elections. 

What is The Voice Act?

Problems with DC’s current election system:

1) Candidates can win even if most voters voted for someone else (for example, in a crowded field, the winner often ends up with less than 20% of the vote). This often can result in a winner that most voters don’t support.

2) DC voters are told to “hold their nose” and vote for candidates perceived to be winners instead of voting for who will represent them best. Instead of campaigns focused on issues and equity, campaigns focus on who is “electable”.

3) Communities end up splitting their vote between similar candidates, weakening their collective voting power. Politicians can then pit people against one another instead of doing the hard work to bring us together. 

 

An equitable election solution: 

The VOICE Act and Ranked Voting

1) Washingtonians are free to vote their values and choose a candidate who will represent their community best without needing to worry about “who will win”. This gives voters more choice, voice, and power in the process. 

2) Diverse communities can build community power together without vote splitting. Politicians are incentivized to bridge our communities, campaign across the city, and build coalitions that reflect the will of the people.

3) Fairer and more equitable representation of our communities because candidates have to get a majority of the vote. More voices are heard and more people get to vote for a winner.

How does ranked voting work?

Voters are free to vote their favorite candidate, and they can also have the power to rank their backup choices (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) if they like. If you first choice is in last place, your vote automatically goes to you next choice. This continues until someone wins over 50% of the vote.

Ranked Voting Supporters in DC

Christina Henderson

Christina Henderson

DC Councilmember, At-Large

“One of the first bills I want to introduce is ranked choice voting because I feel like incumbents need to step up and say this system is not working.”

Markus Batchelor

Markus Batchelor

DC State Board of Education Representative, Ward 8 (former)

“Ranked voting changes the way you run for office. We need to be appealing to voters across the city & East of the River; encouraging candidates to reach out beyond their base.”

Makia Green

Makia Green

Community Organizer at Working Families Party DC and Harriet's Wildest Dreams

“Politicians say: don’t hate the player, hate the game. Well we all hate the game. Ranked voting changes the game.”

Councilmember Charles Allen

Councilmember Charles Allen

Councilmember Mary Cheh

Councilmember Mary Cheh

Kymone Freeman

Kymone Freeman

Councilmember Janeese Lewis George

Councilmember Janeese Lewis George

Justin “Yaddiya” Johnson

Justin “Yaddiya” Johnson

Jeanne Lewis

Jeanne Lewis

Councilmember Brianne Nadeau

Councilmember Brianne Nadeau

Councilmember Brooke Pinto

Councilmember Brooke Pinto

Councilmember Elissa Silverman

Councilmember Elissa Silverman

NeeNee Tay

NeeNee Tay

Mysiki Valentine

Mysiki Valentine

Dexter Williams

Dexter Williams

Latest News

Opinion: Maya Wiley: I lost the NYC mayoral race, but women and minorities win with ranked-choice voting

Maya Wiley is a civil rights lawyer and a former candidate for New York mayor.

A Black middle-aged woman, slender and with a purposeful walk, approached me on a Harlem street corner. As a candidate for mayor of the nation’s largest city and a political neophyte, I stood ready to share my position on…

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LGBTQ Democrats briefed on D.C. ranked choice voting bill

Members of D.C.’s Capital Stonewall Democrats, the city’s largest local LGBTQ political group, received a briefing Monday night from the chief of staff for D.C. Council member Christina Henderson (I-At Large) on a bill she introduced in July calling for a “ranked choice” voting system for D.C. elections. The bill, called the Voter Ownership, Integrity, Choice, and Equity (VOICE) Amendment Act of 2021, calls for D.C. to join about 50 other jurisdictions…

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DC Leaders Praise Proposed RCV VOICE Amendment Act

On July 14, Washington DC Councilmember Christina Henderson introduced the Voter Ownership, Integrity, Choice, and Equity (VOICE) Amendment Act of 2021 alongside colleagues Charles Allen, Brianne K. Nadeau, Brooke Pinto, Mary M. Cheh, Elissa Silverman, and Janeese Lewis George. 

If passed, the VOICE Amendment Act…

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