Is this the same as Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), aka Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)?

  • Ranked Choice technically refers to a family of voting systems that use the expressed ranking of the voter to determine the winner. Instant Runoff Voting is the primary RCV system in use today. Because STAR Voting actually uses the ranking derived from scores to make the final runoff decision, it is arguably a RCV system, but it is not at all the same as Instant Runoff Voting. STAR is similar to IRV in that voters can show relative preferences between candidates, but there are important differences. For example:
  • With STAR Voting you can show that you like two candidates equally, with IRV you would have to rank one over the other.
  • In STAR Voting everyone's second choice counts; in IRV second choices only count for voters whose first choice was eliminated before his or her second choice.
  • In STAR Voting there is only one automatic runoff; with IRV there can potentially be many automatic runoffs.

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