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Ranked Choice Voting in Oregon

Creating Statewide Ranked Choice Voting Elections

Help us pass HB 2004! Our coalition-driven effort is working diligently with legislators to bring ranked choice voting to all of Oregon. HB 2004 would: 

Help us bring ranked choice voting to Oregon! Get involved by filling out our volunteer interest form and by signing up for our ongoing updates.  

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Benton County 

Benton County was the first jurisdiction in Oregon to adopt ranked choice voting. In 2016, Benton County voters adopted ranked choice voting to elect county officials and first used ranked choice voting in the 2020 election.

Using ranked choice voting, Benton County has seen third-party candidates run for office without fear of serving as spoilers. The vast majority of voters chose to rank at least two choices, demonstrating that voters understand ranked choice voting and find it easy to use.

Corvallis

The City of Corvallis’ City Council adopted ranked choice voting in 2022 and started using it the same year for races with three or more candidates. 

Ranked choice voting allowed Corvallis voters to rank their preferred candidates in the three-way mayoral race between Charles Maughan, Andrew Struthers, and Roen Hogg. After the first round tabulations, there was no clear winner, with Maughan leading with only roughly one-third of the vote. With ranked choice voting, second choices came into play and Charles Maughan won the race, proving to be the preferred candidate by the majority of voters with over 50% of the votes.

Since they started using ranked choice voting, both Benton County and Corvallis have seen more candidates run for office without fear of being “spoilers”. Both Corvallis’ mayoral race and Ward 9 city council race in 2022 attracted three strong candidates. Voters got to express their true preferences, by ranking the candidates on their ballots, while ranked choice voting ensured that the candidate with the broadest support won. Voters like the power and choices that ranked choice voting provides: 95% of voters marked a second choice in Corvallis' mayoral race.

Multnomah County

Ranked choice voting passed overwhelmingly in Multnomah County, 69% voting “Yes” in the November 2022 election.

Starting in 2026, Multnomah County voters will be able to rank their preferred candidates in order of preference and county officers will be elected in one, single election, instead of having two expensive elections–a primary and a runoff. Elections will take place in a single ranked choice voting election in November when more (and more representative) people vote.

Portland

Portland voters also overwhelmingly approved changes to their city government by 58% in the November 2022 election. Portland’s combination of ranked choice voting and multi-member districts is a different form of ranked choice voting than what has been adopted in Benton County, Corvallis, and Multnomah County, or what is being proposed statewide.

These changes include using a form of ranked choice voting known as “proportional representation,” where multiple people are elected to represent a single district using a ranked ballot. Portland voters will be able to rank multiple candidates for city offices in order of preference. Three winning candidates from each of the four City Council districts will be sent to City Hall. By contrast, in all other Oregon jurisdictions, ranked choice voting is used to elect one candidate to a single office.

The City of Portland is leading ranked choice voting implementation efforts and is releasing regular updates throughout the process. Stay up to date with the transition on the City’s website.

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