How do instant runoff elections work?

In an instant runoff (or ranked choice voting) election, voters are able to rank candidates in order of choice — 1st choice, 2nd choice, and so on. When the votes are counted, if a candidate has a majority of 1st choices, they win, just like today. But, if no candidate receives a majority of 1st choices, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and voters who ranked that candidate 1st have their vote instantly go to their 2nd choice. This process continues until a candidate is elected with a majority.

To which offices would the new election rules apply?

The Better Elections reforms would apply to campaigns for US Senate, Congress, Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Auditor, State Senate and State House.

Will I still be able to see which party a candidate belongs to (or see if they're an independent)?

Yes. Candidates will be able to choose what party they’d like to be listed as, if any.

How does the Better Elections Amendment improve the integrity of our elections overall?

The proposal implements elections security provisions that help ensure only accurate and eligible ballots are counted and that no one can steal an election.

It will require that all electronic voting machines be tested and certified as secure before they are used, require a paper trail of individual votes in every election, and require that representatives of all political parties be present whenever paper ballots are counted or placed in storage.

Will election officials need to get new machines to conduct instant runoff elections?

The overwhelming majority of Missouri election jurisdictions already have the voting hardware to conduct instant runoff elections. They may need to upgrade the software for counting and reporting the votes, just like we do when we upgrade our phone or computer software.

When will these changes take effect?

If voters approve the Better Elections Amendment in 2022, the new rules approved by voters will be implemented in advance of the 2024 primary and general elections.

Can I vote for just one candidate in the November general election, or do I have to rank all four?

Voters can vote for just one candidate in the general election, or they can rank 2-4 candidates in order of preference. It will always be the voter’s choice.