How ranked choice voting works

Learn all about how you vote using RCV - ranked choice voting.

Understanding RCV

Municipal Elections in Minneapolis use ranked choice voting

We use ranked choice voting (RCV) for Minneapolis offices only.

  • Mayor
  • City Council
  • Board of Estimate and Taxation
  • Park and Recreation Board 

We do not use RCV in elections for the school board or for county, state, or federal offices.

What is RCV?

Ranked choice voting (RCV) is a voting method where you vote for candidates in order of your preference. This allows you to 'rank' your vote - first choice, second choice, and third choice.

This method can allow your vote to count toward another candidate if your favorite candidate loses. If your first choice candidate is eliminated, your vote is moved to your second choice.

Learn more about how we adopted RCV for municipal elections

How to mark your RCV ballot

Step 1: Choose your top candidate. This is your first choice candidate and will be the vote that is considered first.

Step 2: If you have a second choice (not required), you may select another candidate. This must be different from your first choice candidate.

Step 3: If you have a third choice (not required), you may choose another selection. This must be different from your first and second choices.

Sample RCV ballot using Minneapolis Parks as candidates:

a ranked choice voting ballot, showing different candidates ranked in each column

Download a handout explaining how to complete a RCV ballot

How your vote is counted

All first choice votes are counted. If no candidate has the required number of votes to win, candidates that have the fewest votes are eliminated. This process continues until a candidate has enough votes to win.

Election officials only use your second or third choice if your first choice has already been eliminated.

 Learn more about how we count RCV ballots

Practice using ranked choice voting

Common questions about RCV

What are common errors people make when marking their ballot?
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Can I give multiple candidates the same ranking?
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Contact us

Elections & Voter Services


311 or 612-673-3000


TTY: 612-673-2157




Elections & Voter Services
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Minneapolis, MN 55414

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