Can Ranked-Choice Voting Revive Our Democracy?


This year, New America celebrates 20 years of creating and incubating the next big ideas that address some of the nation's and the world’s toughest problems. We are thinkers, researchers, problem-solvers, and storytellers, united by our goal to hold our nation to its highest ideals. We recognize the challenges presented by rapid technological and social change, and work to ensure that the solutions made possible by those changes lead to greater opportunity for all. As we reach forward toward the next 20 years of New America, we will strive to be an engine of American renewal, at home and abroad.

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Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is one of the most promising innovations in American political reform. It's already been implemented in several major cities and, recently, statewide in Maine. This November, voters in New York City will have the opportunity to adopt RCV for future elections, ensuring that those elected have majority support.

Also known as instant-runoff voting, RCV is an alternative to America’s prevailing first-past-the-post system, in which a plurality of votes is enough to win. RCV is sometimes presented as a miracle cure: one change that could increase moderation, eliminate the spoiler problem, improve civility in campaigning, make politics more competitive, and improve female representation.

Can RCV really fix our politics? Will it catch on beyond Maine and municipal elections? Are there other electoral innovations besides RCV that hold promise or could work together with RCV?

Join New America’s Political Reform program on October 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM for a crash course in RCV, led by a panel of experts including Senior Fellow Lee Drutman.

Registration will begin at 5:30 PM, with a panel discussion to begin promptly at 6:00 PM. Join us for reception afterwards.


Lee Drutman
, @leedrutman
Senior Fellow, New America
Author of Breaking the Two-Party Doom Loop: The Case for Multiparty Democracy in America (coming January 2020)

Christopher Lamar, @CLamar_esq
Legal Counsel, Campaign Legal Center

Evan McMullin, @EvanMcMullin
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Stand Up Republic

Grace Ramsey, @ramsey_fv
Voter Education Consultant


Mark Schmitt
, @mschmitt9
Director, Political Reform, New America