Instant Run-off Voting

Instant Run Off Voting is used to elect a single winner from a field of more than two candidates. It is a form of preferential voting (or ranked choice voting) in which voters rank the candidates in order of preference rather than simply selecting a single candidate.


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Instant Run Off Voting will be used in the ASI Election for Presidential Candidates only.

Important Dates

Dates for 2015 Election will be published in January

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How Instant Run-Off Voting Works

Ballots are initially distributed based on each elector's first preference. If a candidate secures more than half of votes cast (51%), that candidate wins. Otherwise, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Ballots assigned to eliminated candidates are recounted and assigned to one of the remaining candidates based on the next preference on each ballot. This process continues until one candidate wins by obtaining more than half the votes.

For example:
If there were four candidates for ASI President (Sally, Tom, Bridget and Joe), and 9,500 Cal Poly students voted, one candidate would need to receive 4,751 (51%) votes to be elected. The following is an example of how that might occur:

Instant Run-off Voting

Round One:

Sally (Candidate A): 3,786
Tom (Candidate D): 2,412
Bridget (Candidate C): 2,111
Joe (Candidate B): 1,191

Since Joe received the fewest number of votes, he would be eliminated. Voters that chose Joe for their first choice, would have their vote cast to their second choice pick. Once those votes were distributed, the vote count was:

Round Two:

Sally (Candidate A): 4,197
Tom (Candidate D): 2,579
Bridget (Candidate C): 2,724

Since a majority was not received by any candidate, the candidate with the fewest number of votes would be eliminated (Tom). Voters that chose Tom for their first choice, would have their vote cast for their second choice. Once those votes were distributed, the vote count was:

Round Three:

Sally (Candidate A): 5,412
Bridget (Candidate C): 4,088

Since Sally (Candidate A) received a majority of votes, she would be elected as the new ASI President.