Ranked-Choice Voting (S.32) - April 27, 2023

On Thursday, the House Government Operations Committee returned to work on S.32, which would establish a ranked-choice voting (RCV) system for presidential primary elections. Katherine Schad (Chief Administrative Officer, Burlington City) joined the Committee. Chairman McCarthy asks her to comment specifically about operating an RCV system with multiple precincts.

Schad explained they have now two cycles but only one determined by RCV. The most recent election was decided in the first round as all winners achieved 50% plus one. There was a special election last December in which RCV was deployed. It went well and they used a vendor called LHS.

She noted the one issue they encountered was tabulating write-in votes in the RCV software; it was time consuming and cumbersome because they were forced to adjudicate every single write-in on a case-by-case basis. Because of this, she suggested only counting “registered or certified” write-ins.

McCarthy noted that write-ins and pre-registrations were addressed in their “miscellaneous” elections bill, H.429.

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