What are the greatest obstacles to widespread adoption of RCV and how can we overcome them?

There are three main obstacles:

  1. The first is elected officials and their campaign consultants who know how to win elections under whatever system got them elected in the first place. RCV makes some tools in their toolbox (e.g., negative campaigning) less effective, meaning they have to learn new ones (e.g., campaigning to voters outside of their base to seek second and third place votes) in order to win.
  2. The second is election staff, especially those that are appointed rather than elected, who are comfortable with the old way of running elections and do not want to deal with a new election system.
    • Fortunately, they can learn from places that have successfully implemented RCV and can seek assistance from the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center, a non-profit which helps jurisdictions implement RCV.
  3. The third obstacle involves election equipment, as older equipment does not allow voters to rank their choices. Fortunately, all major voting machine vendors either have equipment that supports RCV or are working on adding this capability.