Welcome to the Ranked Ballot Initiative. We're proposing a small, simple change that would make Toronto's elections more fair, diverse, inclusive and friendly.


You may have never heard of Instant Runoff Voting or Ranked Ballots, but they are both quite common.


Cities all across the USA use run-off voting to elect their mayor and/or city council. Recently, many of those cities (including San Francisco and Minneapolis) have modified their system, switching to a ranked ballot and an instant runoff (full list here). FairVote USA has been a leading advocate for this change, running advocacy campaigns across the country.

Just in the last five years, successful campaigns have been launched in Minneapolis, Oakland, Sarasota, Santa Fe, Memphis and St. Paul.

Political Parties

All of Canada’s parties have recently decided to use ranked ballots to choose their leaders. This change was made to boost internal democracy within the parties, allowing all members to vote - not just those who attend the convention. Our parties have always used some form of runoff system to choose their leaders, and to nominate the local candidates.

Other groups

How popular are ranked ballots? In 2010, even the Academy Awards adopted ranked ballots to choose Best Picture! This was done to avoid a situation where a movie could ‘win’ with only 20% support in the Academy.

The National Hockey League uses a ranked ballot to choose its Hart, Norris, Calder, Lady Byng, Selke, Vezina and Jack Adams award winners every year - with points awarded based on where each player has been ranked. The National Basketball Association uses the same system to choose its top player awards too.

In journalistic circles, the Canadian Press uses a ranked ballot for picking its leading Canadian athletes every year including male and female athletes of the year and team of the year.

(Research: James Douglas Roy)

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RaBIT is a volunteer-run, non-partisan advocacy project. We hope to transform our local elections into a more relevant, inclusive and pleasant experience for all voters.

Contact: katherine@rabit.ca

Media Contact: Katherine Skene 416.407.4490




Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto • katherine@RaBIT.ca