Ranked choice voting comes to Virginia | Four Things Friday

Unite Virginia
March 19, 2021

In this month’s Virginia update, ranked choice voting takes the stage as reform efforts pay off and new ranked choice voting (RCV) technology is spotlighted. We also remind our readers of useful resources to stay up-to-date on reform, and provide a last call for the Campaign Accelerator Awards! 

Take a look:

  1. Virginians may become the latest voters to utilize ranked choice voting

In our latest Unite Virginia blog, learn more about ranked choice voting and how it benefits voters across the country. During the 2020 legislative session, Virginia made history by passing two ranked choice voting bills that gave localities an option to implement RCV for their governing bodies.

Specifically, HB1103 allows for RCV to be utilized in Virginia’s county board of supervisors and city council elections. The bill was passed in March of last year and is due to take effect on July 1st, 2021. As RCV expands across the country, Virginia’s success in implementing this bill will be critical to building the foundation for widespread adoption. You can read our latest blog on RCV and Virginia’s role in its application here.

  1. Standardizing Ranked Choice Voting with open-source software

An exciting, albeit wonky, update in the world of ranked choice voting: our friends at the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center have released the first-of-its-kind open source software to meet the rising challenges to the implementation of RCV today. The RCV Universal Tabulator, RCVUT, is federally tested open-source software that can tally RCV election results using cast vote records from most voting system vendors.

This technology is one big leap towards supporting organizations, political parties, and election administrators in successfully adopting ranked choice voting. Changes to the tabulation system and concerns over potential cost are some of the biggest challenges raised by election officials when considering ranked choice voting. This technology helps ease those concerns and may lead to wider adoption of ranked choice voting. Watch the premiere video here.

  1. Stay informed with daily Political, Election & Reform Newsletters. 

We’re often asked how people can get involved, and where they can learn more. In today’s polarized news environment, it can be difficult to weed through the news to find what’s important. Here are some of our top picks:

VPAP: The Virginia Public Access Project works to elevate public understanding of politics and government, and their daily Virginia newsletter is a must-read for those trying to stay in the know with Virginia political news. Subscribe here.

RepresentUs: Our partners and friends at RepresentUs recently launched a Daily News Round-Up with all of the latest in the world of reform, from across the nation. If you want the low-down on reform campaigns, opinions, and news, definitely sign up. 

The Fulcrum: The Fulcrum is an entirely reform-focused news outlet that focuses on the legislation, campaigns, and people working to put voters first. Sign up for their newsletter here.

  1. Last Call for Accelerator Awards Applications!

The deadline is nearing to submit your application for the Campaign Accelerator Awards, in which 20 promising electoral reform campaigns may be provided with a grant of at least $25,000 and expert consultation.

Most importantly, share the link with like-minded and passionate people! One of the selected electoral reform campaigns could be headed by someone you know. Submissions are due by March 22nd.

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