The U.S. uses two types of elections that implement Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in different ways.
When used as an "instant runoff" to elect a single candidate like a mayor or a governor RCV helps elect a candidate that better reflects the support of a majority of voters. When used as a form of fair representation voting to elect more than one candidate like a city council, state legislature or even Congress, RCV helps to more fairly represent the full spectrum of voters.
Read below for more information about how these elections work
A single winner election is exactly what it sounds like: only one person can win. This applies to executive positions such as mayor, governor, and president.
Ranked choice voting ensures that the winner will have majority support compared to the other candidates in the field.
Below is an example of an election with multiple candidates that has to end with only one winner:
A multiple winner election is also exactly what it sounds like: a group of people (of a set number) will win and represent the entire district together.
This applies to multi-member legislative bodies such as city councils, state legislatures, and the U.S. House of Representatives. Only some city councils and state legislatures currently use multi-member districts, but RepresentationWomen promotes the use of these districts at all levels of government.
Below is an example of how a multi-winner election with ranked choice voting would work: