Local Study: Election Systems

In 2013-2015, the League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia studied electoral processes in the District.  Members looked at the history of voting in the District, voter registration and turnout over time, and the history of primaries across the country. In 2014 they held a forum at the David A. Clarke School of Law that featured speakers from the Board of Elections, pro and con advocates for ranked choice voting, and a representative from CouncilMember Grosso's staff. 

League Study

Link to league study pdf >>


The election systems position was adopted through the study and consensus process to consider:

  • Should the District continue its current system of plurality winner-take-all or move to requiring a majority vote for election?
  • Should the District employ Ranked Choice Voting to achieve a majority or should the top two candidates be presented in a separate election?

link to consensus questions >>

link to final report >>

LWVDC Position on Election Systems

Approved unanimously by the Board of the League of Women Voters, District of Columbia, February 4, 2015.

The League of Women Voters, District of Columbia supports Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for partisan contests in both primary and general elections.  Ranked Choice Voting assures that the winning candidate will obtain a majority vote. The League believes that this system, which enables voters to rank candidates by preference, provides voters more voice in elections and leads to more representative government.  With Ranked Choice Voting, the candidate with the broadest support of the voters is elected. Ranked Choice Voting also has the potential to lead to more informative campaigns that are issues-focused.   

Elections Systems Study Committee

  • Abigail Nichols, Co-Chair
  • Linda Beebe, Co-Chair