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California Senate passes bill allowing Ranked Choice Voting in Santa Clara County

Sep 5, 2023

Ongoing effort by Cal RCV and partners pays off as AB 1227 passes 31-7

Map of California cities using RCV

Cal RCV and its coalition partners FairVote and CfER have been working together to complete a project CfER started in November 1997 to bring Ranked Choice Voting to the 2 million people of Santa Clara County. The people of Santa Clara voted for RCV, however, there have been questions raised by the county's counsel about whether the county can choose to move to RCV, even though Santa Clara County is a charter county. Assembly Bill 1227 clarifies that Santa Clara County can indeed adopt RCV as a charter county, and on September 5, 2023, the bill passed the California Senate, 31-7.

The bill passed the Assembly earlier in the year with bipartisan support: 57 Democrats and 10 Republicans in favor, 0 against, 13 no vote recorded.

From the AB 1227 fact sheet:


In November 1998, Santa Clara County voters passed Measure F, with 53.9% voting in favor, to allow the use of instant runoff voting in the county when the technology became available. Instant runoff voting is another name for RCV.

Although the County’s voting machines now have the capability to conduct RCV elections, the County’s Board of Supervisors would like clarity in state law that gives Santa Clara County, a charter county, control over the method of electing their county officers.


AB 1227 allows the people’s vote to be implemented in Santa Clara County by giving authority to the County Board of Supervisors to adopt a proposal to elect county officers by RCV.

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