WASHINGTON -- Federal lawmakers reintroduced a bill this week that would help state and local governments implement ranked choice voting (RCV). Led by Rep. Dean Phillips, along with Sens. Michael Bennet and Angus King, the Voter Choice Act provides $40 million in federal grants to cover up to 50 percent of the cost for local and state governments that choose to adopt RCV.

RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference: first choice, second choice, and so on. When the votes are counted, if a candidate has a majority of the first choice votes, they win. But if no candidate receives a majority of first choices, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and voters who ranked that candidate first have their vote instantly go to their second choice. This process, also called an “instant runoff,” continues until a candidate secures a majority.

RCV is gaining momentum in states and localities across the country. Jurisdictions or political parties in 29 states have adopted some form of RCV for their elections. RepresentUs has supported and continues to support state and local RCV campaigns across the country, including major victories in Alaska, Maine, Utah, New York City, Memphis, and Austin.

RepresentUs CEO Josh Silver issued the following statement praising the Voter Choice Act:

“Adopting ranked choice voting in more towns, cities and states across the country would go a long way toward reducing the polarization that plagues our politics. RCV gives voters more choices, it ensures that the majority of voters approve of the eventual election winner, and it’s a way to end the two party duopoly at the ballot box. It’s no surprise that so many places are moving to RCV, and the Voter Choice Act will help more do so. In the meantime, we’re continuing our work in several states to keep up the momentum.”