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A ballot being placed into a ballot box with the word “VOTE” crossed out and replaced with the word “TRASH”.
A ballot being placed into a ballot box with the word “VOTE” crossed out and replaced with the word “TRASH”.

New York City is about to hold an election for mayor using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for the first time. Some New Yorkers have been excited about it, but fears of strange quirks in the system have been creeping up, culminating in a recent New York Times article by Nate Cohn going over how a concept known as “ballot exhaustion” may cause some problems. Nate made an important point, but ballot exhaustion isn’t the only way RCV discards votes; however, there is a positive way forward.

To review, let me give you a condensed, simpler version of what Nate’s article…

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