Voting-Method Specific Analysis

IRV and Breadth of Support


Proponents of Instant Runoff Voting (including its limited form, called “Ranked Choice Voting” or “RCV” for short) often claim that IRV elects candidates with both depth and breadth of support. For example:

“RCV elects candidates that elicit both passionate and broad support, both of which are necessary qualities in a leader.” ~California RCV proponent

Expressiveness in Approval vs. Ranked Ballots


At first glance, a ranked ballot appears more expressive than an approval ballot. Here's an example of an argument favoring a ranked ballot:

"Approval voting means you give the same score to the candidate you love, the one you like, and the one you hold your nose for. Not very representative of voter preference..."
~Anonymous IRV advocate

Approval Voting versus IRV


Approval voting is categorically better than instant runoff voting (IRV) in a number of ways. This article outlines those ways. Note that ranked-choice voting is the same as IRV, but limits voters to ranking only three candidates. We use the names interchangeably in this article. Limiting voters to ranking only three is very common because of IRV's complexity.

Approval Voting Is Better for both Major AND Minor Parties


We contend that Approval Voting is better for major parties and minor parties. How can this be?


Follow The Center for Election Science on: