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Ranked-Choice Voting

Berkeley voters used Ranked Choice Voting for the first time in November 2010. This method allows the voter to rank candidates in order of preference, and eliminates the need for run-off elections.

In Berkeley, RCV will only be used in races for Mayor, Council seats and Auditor. In these races, voters can (but aren’t required to) indicate their first, second and third choice for an office.

This is sometimes called “instant run-off voting” but don’t be confused—it’s not instant, and all ballots get counted before a race is decided. Under RCV, a candidate must receive a majority of votes to be declared the winner. 

The use of Ranked Choice Voting will not change any other part of your voting experience.  You may continue to vote-by-mail or at the polls just as you have done in the past. 

RCV is as easy as ranking your top three choices - 1, 2, 3.  For more information of how Ranked-Choice Voting works, please use the links below.

Video Demonstrations

Brochures & Newsletters

Memo re: Marking the Ranked Choice Voting Ballot




If you have any questions, please contact the City Clerk Department at 981-6900 or

Below is a sample of the Ranked-Choice Voting ballot format.  Voters may only vote for one candidate in each column.  Voting for the same candidate in multiple columns does not help the candidate.  Voters are not required to make a selection in all three columns.  For more detailed information, please use the links above to access educational materials.

 RCV sample ballot image ENG





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