NEWS RELEASE: Multnomah County Elections releases video explaining ranked-choice voting, previewing ballots

July 10, 2024

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Tim Scott or Edward Gutiérrez, 503-988-VOTE (8683)  

Denis Theriault,

NEWS RELEASE: Multnomah County Elections releases video explaining ranked-choice voting, previewing ballots

Multnomah County, Ore. (Wednesday, July 10, 2024) — Multnomah County Elections has released a video and website explaining the basics of ranked-choice voting — including a preview of the ballots that City of Portland voters will receive when the voting method makes its debut Nov. 5, 2024

  • Watch the video here.
  • Check out Multnomah County Elections’ ranked-choice-voting resource page here.

Contests for Portland Mayor, Portland Auditor and the Portland City Council will all be decided by ranked-choice voting this fall. Multnomah County elections will switch to ranked-choice voting for County candidate contests in November 2026. Voters approved the voting method as part of charter reform amendments placed on the ballot in 2022.

Ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference instead of choosing only one candidate. This method allows someone’s vote to count toward another candidate if their favorite candidate is eliminated. Portland voters will be able to rank up to six candidates. 

Most of what Portland voters will experience this fall will be the same as in past elections.

Ballots will continue to arrive in the mail. Voters will still be able to mail in their ballots, place them in approved drop boxes or bring them directly to Multnomah County Elections. And voters will still be able to seek information, help and other resources from County Elections staff.

A new ballot style for Portland voters

But as the video makes clear, voters in the City of Portland will see a difference in the way their ballots look. Candidate contests will now feature a grid that allows voters to rank up to six candidates in order of preference. Voters will still fill in ovals to mark their selections, but now they’ll have more choices. 

Voters should pick the candidate they like most for “Rank 1,” pick the candidate they like second-best for “Rank 2,” and then do the same for ranks 3 through 6. The video also explains what happens if voters skip a rank or accidentally fill in more than one candidate for a rank.

If voters make an error when marking their ballots, they can correct them by writing an “X” over a mistaken oval or contacting Multnomah County Elections to receive a replacement ballot.

And if you want to practice on a sample ballot this summer, before official ballots arrive in the fall, click here or go to MultnomahVotes,gov

Best practices and educational tools: Getting ready for November

Multnomah County and the City of Portland are working together this summer and fall to engage and educate voters about the transition to ranked-choice voting, including community events, direct assistance to voters, mock elections, advertising campaigns, printed materials, and media briefings so news outlets can help educate voters as well. 

The County is committed to ensuring all voters have the tools and knowledge they need to vote using a ranked-choice ballot.

Elections staff are leading a rigorous preparation process — adopting best practices from communities that have used ranked-choice voting for decades, and repeatedly testing their new systems to ensure voters can continue to count on safe, reliable and transparent elections.