Ranked Choice Voting -
Voters Say: It’s Easy, and They Prefer It
August 2022 Exit Survey Results
Posted: August 3, 2022
On Election Day, August 2, volunteers with Better Ballot KC asked voters as they left after voting to fill out a survey ballot. Voters practiced ranked choice voting on the Missouri U.S. Senate candidates.
The main purpose was voter education by giving them practice. We hope this helps increase a “yes” vote if ranked choice voting is on the ballot. We are currently working on asking the City Council to put it on the ballot next April.
We were at ten different polling locations including in Platte County, Clay County, Downtown, Midtown, and South KC.
We had a total of 617 voter responses. There were 533 Democrats and 84 Republicans, according to which of the survey ballots they filled out.
Ease of Ranked Choice Voting
Once having practiced it, voters were asked to rate it from very difficult to very easy. The majority, 64.6%, found it very easy. When adding the ones who marked easy:
91.6% rated it easy or very easy.
Democrats and Republicans were both above 91% on this, so there was no party difference.
Would you have preferred to use this method?
The ratings were: no way (9 voters), perhaps (49), no opinion (42), kind of (121) and definitely (388, or 62.9%).
83.6% either kind of or definitely
would prefer to do it this way.
While there was a party difference, there were still very strong majorities in both parties. In this survey, ranked choice voting had strong bipartisan support.
Compared to our previous survey Results on Ranking
We did a similar exit survey with 944 Kansas City MO voters in March 2020, a presidential primary, with similar results:
Results on ease: 95.6% found it either easy or very easy.
Results on liking: 80% either liked it or strongly liked it.
But there is a huge difference between 2020 and 2022. Earlier, voters were judging after only first hearing about ranked choice voting for a minute or two and then trying it out. This year, large numbers had heard of it and had formed an opinion. Many mentioned having signed the petition in favor of putting it on the Kansas City ballot for mayor and city council races.
Results of Ranking
A round means that the candidate with the lowest number of first-choice rankings is eliminated from consideration, and his or her second choice rankings distributed to the remaining candidates. This proceeds through more rounds until the final round when only two candidates are left. One of them therefore must have a majority.
These results come from a sample of Kansas City MO voters, which would be expected to be different from the entire state:
Democrats: Lucas Kunce had 55.69% of first rankings. Since he had already won, there were no more rounds.
Republicans: There were several rounds due to votes for less well-known candidates; on the 14th and final round, Eric Schmidt had 51.06%, and Vicky Hartzler had 48.94%. If actual results had come out this way, the same person would have won, but would have had a majority instead of a plurality win.
For further information contact:
Rachel MacNair, 816-753-2057
Larry Bradley, 402-321-4851