| Cami Mondeaux | Washington Examiner |

Voters in Salt Lake City are set to participate in their first-ever mayoral race that will rely upon ranked choice voting to choose the next leader of the capital city, marking a shift for the Beehive State as other cities seek to follow suit in future elections.

At least 10 cities in Utah will operate local races through ranked choice voting in November, which would require candidates to receive more than 50% of the vote before being declared the winner. The shift comes roughly five years after the state passed a bill to establish a ranked choice pilot program allowing local municipalities to use the voting system in their elections if they so choose.

The winner has to have a majority

Advocates have pushed for ranked choice voting in Utah elections for years, arguing the process makes it more fair and representative of the electorate.

“The key differences are the winner has to have a majority,” said Kelleen Potter, executive director of Ranked Choice Voting Utah. “[Voters] don’t have to strategize and say, ‘I want to vote for that person, but the polls say that they’re not in the lead. I don’t know if I’m wasting my vote.’ They’re able to vote for whoever they want. Then if when the first round is counted, their candidate that they chose first was the lowest vote-getter and that person is eliminated, then their second choice vote will be applied in the second round of counting.”

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