Using RankedVote

Key Features

Key Features

What is RankedVote?

RankedVote is a simple, fun way to run ranked-choice elections online. It's designed to be a delightful introduction to ranked-choice voting concepts for both you and your voters. No matter where your voters are or what device they use, RankedVote allows them to quickly cast their ballots and understand the results.

And, although RankedVote's design is simple on the surface, its capabilities run deep.

With RankedVote's advanced features, you can unleash the power of ranked-choice voting inside your organization. You can make decisions that have the strongest support. You can even run voter education campaigns across the largest city in the U.S.

Read on to understand the full extent of what RankedVote has to offer.

Basic Features

Unlimited Voters

All elections allow you to have as many voters as you can handle at no additional charge. Feel free to spread the word about your election far and wide. RankedVote wants your election to go viral. That's how more people across the world get exposed to ranked-choice voting's benefits.

Candidates

You can add up to five candidates before being asked to upgrade to an advanced election. "Candidates" are the choices that your voters will rank when voting. Typically, this is a person (e.g. "Fred Ortega"), but, it can also describe something else (e.g. "Make the donate button green").

Drag and Drop Ballots

Basic elections allow voters to use a drag and drop ballot interaction for voting. Voters simply move their most preferred candidate to the top of the list. Their second most preferred goes just under that first one and so on. Drag and drop is a simple, intuitive design that works particularly well on mobile devices. Try drag and drop ballots for yourself.

Results Calculation

All elections have a robust Results Page that not only tells you what you need to know (like who won), but also educates your voters about how ranked-choice voting works.

The Summary gives you the most critical election information at a glance. It tells you which candidates won, how many votes they needed, how many votes there were overall, and how many candidates were in the election.

The Visualization shows you how the ranked-choice election transpired. You'll see the round-by-round dynamics of eliminations and vote redistributions — the heart of how ranked-choice differs from other election methods.

The Explanation steps you through what happened during the election in plain language. Key concepts like "eliminations" and "exhausted" or "inactive" votes are explained in detail using the context of your specific election.

The Round-by-Round Details make it clear how each candidate performed during each round.

Example results page with summary and visualization
The Results Page for a sample election.

Advanced Features

Unlimited Candidates

All advanced elections allow you to have as many candidates as you need in your election.

Randomized Candidate Order

There's a lot of power in being listed first. To eliminate this bias in your results, the candidate order on the ballot is randomized each time a voter visits.

Multiple Winners

Setting this to a value greater than one allows RankedVote to discover the most acceptable candidates to your voters. What's great is that nothing about the voter's experience changes. This is ideal for elections like "filling three seats on an open board" or "which four initiatives should we pursue?"

Grid Ballot Type

The "Grid" ballot type is a digital version of the paper ballot used in Maine, New York City, and Alaska. It's ideal for voter education efforts. It allows voters to practice ranked-choice voting prior to getting into the ballot box for real.

Grid ballots also work well for elections with large numbers of candidates (think 12 or more) where the drag and drop ballot gets a bit tedious.

Controlled Voter Access

When you only want members of your organization to participate in an election, you can take advantage of the Allowed Voters and Voter Registration features.

Voter Registration makes it so that voters are required to put in a Name and Email (or unique ID) in order to cast their ballots. Each ID can only be used to cast one vote. Subsequent votes from that ID are blocked.

Combined with the Allowed Voters feature, you can effectively restrict an election to just members of your organization. Allowed Voters takes a list of comma-separated IDs and only allows those IDs to participate (e.g. fred@example.com, fred1984, id-252742)

End Dates

Allows you to define the day when votes will no longer be accepted. So, if you set the date as June 21st, voters will see a "This election is closed" message starting on that day. The last day they could vote would be June 20th. Time zones can also cause some confusion here as your voters may be distributed across the world.

Tip: If you just want to stop an election from receiving further votes, click the "Close election" text and all future voters will be blocked.

Voter Languages

You can create elections that cater to specific linguistic communities. The voter ballot, thank you, and results pages will display in the selected language for all visitors to that election. English is the default. Other supported languages include:

Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, and Yiddish

Voter Deduplication

Most elections have well-behaved voters. But, every now and then, you may get one (or a few) that keep voting to drive up the numbers for their preferred candidate.

Voter Deduplication blunts this impact.

Duplicate Voter Monitoring will let you know if RankedVote suspects that the same device was used to cast more than one ballot. Any duplicates will show in the Potential Duplicate List with the Name and ID of the voter — allowing you to determine whether this is expected, an honest mistake, or someone misbehaving.

Deduplicate Results will remove the duplicated ballots from your election's results. This means it keeps the first vote from a device and then ignores all subsequent votes.

Results Visibility

By default, the Results page is open to anyone with the link to see. If you want to keep that closer to the vest for any reason, set Results Visibility to "only election creator."

Final-Five Voting Simulator

Final-Five Voting is a powerful combination of two key electoral reforms: ranked-choice voting and open primaries. Together, they better represent voters while improving governing incentives.

In the first election (the "open primary"), voters choose their favorite candidate. The top five vote getters then advance to the next election (the "general"). In the general election, voters use ranked-choice ballots to rank their favorite candidates.

In RankedVote, you can simulate your own Final-Five election by creating an advanced election and its candidates. Then, select "Final-Five" as a Ballot Type. Once you confirm, RankedVote will spend a few moments creating the primary and general elections and linking them.

The winners of the primary election are the only candidates available to voters in the general election.

"Final-Five Voting" elections on RankedVote are made in partnership with the Institute for Political Innovation.

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