How Does It Work?
To win an election using RCV, a candidate must receive at least majority plus one of the total votes counted. A majority is 50% of the total, plus one vote.
After all the votes (including absentee and affidavit ballots) are in, counters will tally only the first-choice votes. If no candidate wins a majority (based on first-choice votes), the candidate with the lowest number of votes is defeated and removed from the count, and the second choices from each voter whose candidate was defeated are reallocated as if they were first choices.
The process is repeated until only last two candidates remain. In each round, the candidate now in last place is defeated, and the second-choice votes on those ballots are redistributed. If the second choice on those ballots has already lost, the voter’s third choice is then redistributed, and so on.
The winner is the candidate in the final two with the most votes. Depending on the unique circumstances of each election, it can take many rounds to reach a final 2 candidates.