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Ranked choice voting will be used this fall

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published August 31, 2021
Updated on September 14, 2021

Bloomington residents will use ranked choice voting for the first time in the municipal election on November 2, 2021. On the ballot this year, voters will elect one of the councilmember at large seats. Voters in Council District 3 and Council District 4 will also see their councilmember on the ballot. 

Sometimes referred to as instant runoff voting or preferential voting, ranked choice voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference—first choice, second choice, and third choice. This is a voting system that removes the need for a primary election. 

Ballots may be counted in one or more rounds. In the first round, only first-choice votes are tallied. If no candidate has won a majority of the votes (more than 50%), then the candidate with the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated. All the first-choice votes for the eliminated candidate are also eliminated. Voters who picked the eliminated candidate as their first-choice will have their second-choice vote counted instead. This process repeats until one candidate has won a majority or until only two candidates remain.

Ranked choice voting changes how residents vote for mayor and City councilmember. This will not change how residents vote in federal, state, county or school board elections. For more information, visit