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These States Are Banning Ranked-Choice Voting. Yours Should, Too.

If you live in Florida, Tennessee, Idaho, Montana, or South Dakota, your elected officials did something important for the integrity and simplicity of your future elections: They banned a controversial new idea called ranked-choice voting.

In short, ranked-choice voting results in votes being tossed out, introduces confusion and uncertainty to voting, and results in diminished voter confidence in our elections. The Foundation for Government Accountability has taken a leading role in highlighting the real-world problems with ranked-choice voting, helping to remove the confusion and debunk the empty promises from its promoters.

  • Tennessee: In 2022, Tennessee became the first state to formally ban ranked-choice voting. Sen. Brian Kelsey sponsored HB1868/SB1820, with the intention of “protecting election integrity and ensuring voter clarity at the ballot box.” The legislation moved quickly through both houses and was signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee.
  • Florida: A few months later in April 2022, as part of a widespread crackdown on voter fraud and other election reforms, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a similar ban on ranked-choice voting with SB 524. The bill was introduced by Sen. Travis Hutson, who said, “I don’t think you should be numbering and ranking people on the ballot. […] One person should win, or if there is a runoff you should go to a top two.”
  • Idaho: Rep. Dale Hawkins brought H0179 through the State Affairs Committee, “[t]o ensure every vote is counted accurately, and the candidate with the most votes is elected.” The measure was signed into law in March.
  • Montana: Introduced by Rep. Lyn Hellegaard and supported by Secretary of State Christi Jacobson, HB 598 was signed into law to prohibit ranked-choice voting statewide. Rep. Hellegaard pointed out that ranked-choice voting can eliminate top candidates, it’s overly complicated, and it turns elections into a game of odds.
  • South Dakota: Sen. John Wiik introduced SB 55, which was signed into law in March, calling ranked-choice voting “a bad, complicated, and expensive idea.” Rep. Kirk Chaffee sponsored the bill in the House, and explained how ranked-choice voting “disenfranchises” voters with confusing instructions for elections that should be “easier and more secure.” 

If your state isn’t on the list above, it might be time for you to take notice—you could be in for a surprise the next time you exercise your right to vote.

Learn more about ranked-choice voting:

  • One-Pager: The truth about ranked-choice voting, and its disturbing track record
  • Explainer: What ranked-choice voting really is
  • Case Study: How ranked-choice voting failed its biggest test in New York City
  • Case Study: How ranked-choice voting turned a loser into a winner in Maine
  • Op-Ed: “NYC shows states why ranked-choice voting is a liberal disaster”—Tarren Bragdon and Madeline Malisa
  • Op-Ed: “How winners are losing in American elections”—Madeline Malisa
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