Using RankedVote

Choose the Right Contest Type

How to Choose Contest Types in RankedVote

RankedVote got its start in voter education. As a result, many of the terms used throughout the application echo that civic context. Terms like "election," "candidate," and "office."

But, a really exciting thing is happening...people are using RankedVote for all sorts of things that aren't related to civics, politics, or elections!

Teams in Fortune 500 companies are deciding priorities. Schools are running art contests. Calling those "elections" in those contexts can cause confusion instead of clarity. So, RankedVote created distinct "Contest Types" that use clearer terms and focused features depending on what you're trying to achieve.

The Three Contest Types


People choose amongst "choices" to see who will win. When multiple related categories need to be voted on at the same time (e.g. a best local restaurant contest for "Best Breakfast," "Best Lunch," and "Best Dinner"), a "Multi-Category" contest should be created.


Members of a team or organization choose amongst "options" to determine which to pursue. When multiple related decisions need to be made at the same time (e.g. a prioritization planning session needs to decide on "Q1 Goals," "Priorities this Month," and "Nonprofit to Support"), a "Multi-Topic" decision should be created.


Voters choose amongst "candidates" to determine which will win the election. When multiple positions need to be voted on at the same time (e.g. a student council election for "President," "Vice President," and "Treasurer"), a "Multi-Office" election should be created.

The Election contest type has a number of unique features specifically geared towards voter education: multiple languages, real-world candidates, in-depth results explanation, and the Final-Five ballot type.

Select the contest type
The "Choose Type" step after clicking "Add" on the Dashboard

Which Should You Choose?

If you're doing voter education to help bring ranked choice voting to where you live, then you should choose "election." Otherwise, it's really what you think will be most clear to your voters. To help you out, here are some real examples from each category:


  • Rebrand Naming Contest
  • 100 Top Player Rankings
  • Best Startup Pitch


  • Fall 2022 Book Club
  • Which hotel is your preference?
  • Movie Night


  • Mock Nevada Governor's Race
  • General Secretary
  • Med Staff Leadership

A Final Note

Once you choose a contest type, it can't be changed. You'll need to create a new event with a different type if you really need it.

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