James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Sat Dec 14 06:26:13 PST 2019

Is RCV (Ranked Choice Voting) really the same as IRV (Instant Run-off Voting)?

IRV (with preferential voting) surely had its origin as a replacement for successive (or top-two) FPTP run-off votes to determine
the winner in single-winner elections.  This single-winner application of STV preferential voting is known in some parts of the
world as the Alternative Vote, but that name never caught on in the USA.

Does RCV include multi-winner elections, i.e. STV-PR = preferential voting in multi-member electoral districts?

James Gilmour
Edinburgh, Scotland

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Election-Methods [mailto:election-methods-bounces at lists.electorama.com] On Behalf Of Rob Lanphier
> Sent: 14 December 2019 04:39
> To: Election Methods <election-methods at lists.electorama.com>
> Subject: [EM] IRV vs RCV
> Hi folks,
> This morning, I updated the FairVote page on Electowiki:
> <https://electowiki.org/wiki/FairVote>
> ...which was an updated copy of the intro from the Wikipedia article
> about FairVote.   They changed their name in 2004 (from Center for
> Voting and Democracy), and it's about time we finally updated Electowiki to reflect that.
> However, one line got under my skin:
> > "in 2004 changed its name to FairVote to reflect its support of such platforms as ranked choice voting (RCV),"
> Well, there's a lot of good reasons for them to change their name, but reflecting their support for "ranked choice voting"
> seemed revisionist to me.  So I disappeared down a rabbit hole to make my edits to the Electowiki version.
> If you're interested in the details, I encourage you to read my longer history on Electowiki, but here's the abbreviated
> timeline:
> * 1992 - "Center for Proportional Representation" (CPR) is formed
> * 1993 - CPR changes its name to "Center for Voting and Democracy" (CVD)
> * 1993 - Report published, calling it "preference voting" (in a nod to
> Australia)
> * 1997 - first use of "Instant Runoff voting" that I could find
> * 2000 - http://fairvote.org/irv URL goes live on CVD's website
> * 2004 - CVD changes its name to "FairVote"
> * 2006 - http://fairvote.org/rcv URL goes live on FairVote's website, in cooperation with the Arizona League of Women
> Voters
> * 2013 - FairVote starts referring to IRV primarily as "Ranked Choice Votting"
> What happened between 2006 and 2013 is left as an exercise for the reader.
> At any rate: is this a problem worth worrying about?  Should we just do what all of the cool kids are doing, and start referring
> to it as "Ranked Choice Voting"?  I mean, come on, Jennifer Lawrence and Krist Novaselic are on board (ok, since Jennifer
> Lawrence was born in the 90s, I have no problem referring to her as a "kid", but Krist Novoselic is older than I am, so should I
> be respecting my elders?)
> Rob
> ----
> Election-Methods mailing list - see https://electorama.com/em for list info

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list