Rank Deficiency? Analyzing the Costs and Benefits of Single-Winner Ranked-Choice Voting

38 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2020

See all articles by Jesse Clark

Jesse Clark

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, Students

Date Written: October 1, 2020

Abstract

In the past decade, debate around the effects of the instant runoff voting (IRV) has intensified, as proponents seek to build upon a victory in Maine to expand its use to more states. However, there has relied on unsubstantiated claims from both sides, as it has only been used in a single statewide election. This lack of information around IRV is compounded by the fact that relatively little work has been done around the behavioral impacts of IRV in a multi- party setting, with most of the elections happening in cities that lean strongly Democrat. This study seeks to better understand this reform by being the first to holistically analyze both the micro-level and macro-level impacts of IRV. In doing so, I find strong experimental and observational evidence to suggest that the negative impacts of IRV outweigh any positive effects, and that elite-led opinion may serve as a mitigating factor.

Keywords: elections, voting, election reform, voter confidence

Suggested Citation

Clark, Jesse, Rank Deficiency? Analyzing the Costs and Benefits of Single-Winner Ranked-Choice Voting (October 1, 2020). MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2020-8, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3703197 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3703197

Jesse Clark (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Department of Political Science, Students ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

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