Ranked Choice Voting

Nov 2022 Update

On November 8, Portland voters will vote on Question 4, a charter change that would adopt proportional ranked choice voting for some local races. This change will clarify how RCV works in elections where more than one person is to be elected to a single office (i.e. a multiple seat election). You can read the question here, and learn more about proportional RCV from our friends at the League of Women Voters of Maine!



During the March 3rd, 2020 primary, Portland overwhelmingly voted in favor of Ranked Choice Voting. Just over 81% approved to expand Ranked Choice Voting to all City Council and school board races.


About Ranked Choice Voting

We need a system that works — where candidates with the best ideas, not the biggest bank accounts have a chance to win. You should never have to vote for the lesser of two evils when there is another candidate you really like.

With ranked choice voting ballots can be counted in rounds where last-place candidates lose and the candidate with the most votes in the final round wins. You have the freedom to vote for the candidate you like the best without worrying that you will help to elect the candidate you like the least. We all have a responsibility to vote to make Portland a better place for our children and grandchildren. Ranked Choice Vote is the change we need to give more voice to the people.


Ranked Choice Voting petition

An Amendment To The Portland City Charter To Allow Ranked Choice Voting for School Board and City Council.

This charter amendment requires that elections for school board and city council be conducted using ranked choice voting in accordance with the same ranked choice voting and election procedures currently in place for mayor.

Proposed Amendment:

Article II, Section 3 of the City charter of the City of Portland shall be amended as follows:

Section 3. Ranked choice voting; instant runoff tabulation.

For the position of mayor only, t​The city clerk shall implement a ranked choice voting protocol for elections for mayor, city council, and school board according to these guidelines:

  • (a) The ballot shall give voters the option of ranking mayoral candidates in order of choice.
  • (b) If a mayoral candidate receives a majority, i.e. at least one more than fifty percent (50%) of the first choice votes cast, that candidate is elected.


Article IV, Sections 7 and 10 of the Charter of the City of Portland shall be amended as follows:

Section 7. Form of ballot.

All official ballots for use in all municipal elections shall be prepared by the city clerk and furnished by the city, consistent with the voting machines used and the form of any state ballot(s), and the use of ranked choice voting for mayor