For Organizations

Tips for Organizations Under Ranked Choice Voting

For more comprehensive information and examples download our tips for organizations handout.

Tip 1: Making Organizational Endorsements

Organizations should assess how much a candidate aligns with their platform, mission and values, and rank acceptable candidates. This provides an opportunity for groups to educate their community on the RCV election and encourages them to vote in a way that meets their self interest.

  • Organizations may wish to endorse only one candidate or may wish to endorse a slate consisting of a 1st choice, a 2nd choice, and a 3rd choice.
  • You can use your current endorsement process to make the 1st choice and then conduct another process to extend your endorsement to 2nd and 3rd choices.
  • Organizations may use ranked choice voting to endorse a candidate or a slate of candidates -- providing members with a ranked ballot gives the organization more influence over how its members rank all the way down the ballot.

Common practices for organizations to assess candidates include:

  • A questionnaire for candidates
    • Some organizations utilize a review process in assessing responses of candidates.
  • Candidate forum
  • Organizational poll

Tip 2: RCV Education and Outreach

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In addition to organizational endorsements, providing RCV education to a community is vital to a successful election.

FairVote California has materials available on how RCV works in various languages:

English

Spanish

Chinese

Also, both election offices of San Francisco and Alameda County provide informational materials on RCV and sample ballots. 

If your organization would like a training on RCV, contact us at info@fairvoteca.org.

Tip 3: Use the Language of Ranked Choice Voting in Your Campaign Materials

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In cities where RCV is used, campaign materials specifically ask people for their first-choice vote.

You want people to rank your candidate first, and if they won’t do that, to rank your candidate second. “Can I count on your first-choice vote? If you’re committed to another candidate, please consider giving [Candidate X] your second choice.”

If you think there is a chance there will no majority winner from first choices alone, consider what your organization shares in common with other voting bases and the messages that might appeal to those voters.

RCV Messaging and Your Campaign Materials, Website, and Social Media

In addition to your campaign materials, your website and social media channels are an easy place to include an explanation of RCV to make sure your organization understands the importance of ranking a vote. Your website may already include an endorsement list and should include a quick explanation of RCV.

Tip 4: Have FairVote California host a fun mock ranked choice voting election at your campaign event

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If you want to have your organizational members practice ranked choice voting, consider holding a RCV election at your next event! We can agree on what to vote on beforehand (best appetizer, best dessert, etc.). This provides a fun activity for attendees and an opportunity to make sure your community understand RCV. If you have an event, contact us at pedro@fairvote.org.