| Alissa Bombardier Shaw | Ms. Magazine |
For the past five years, RepresentWomen has been building up our research on reforms and policies that lead to increased and sustained women’s representation in elected office. Excitingly, year after year, our findings have remained consistent, and this year is no exception: Ranked-choice voting means more women run for office and win . While progress toward gender balance is generally slow and uneven, historic wins for women in RCV cities show that, with systems strategies, not only is change possible, it’s happening in real time.
RepresentWomen’s work seeks to bridge the gap between the women’s representation movement and the democracy reform movement by showing the link between systems strategies such as ranked-choice voting and increased opportunities for women in politics.
Voters support RCV
City councils that have women-majorities are few and far between. Even fewer are city councils with only women members. Yet this year, we had not one, but two cities elect all women city councils: For the first time in history, St. Paul’s council and Minnetonka’s council will be all women. What do these two cities have in common? Both use ranked-choice voting for their elections. (If you’re curious what the St. Paul city council looked like before it started using RCV, check out this news archive .)
Voters across the country and across the aisle support RCV—despite efforts to repeal PRCV, like in Minnetonka, Minn. In Easthampton, Massachusetts, voters said yes ( 62% ) to expanding their existing RCV system to allow multi-winner RCV. RCV has now won 27 city ballot measures in a row.