Proposed Bills

In 2021 during the 87th Legislative Session, Ranked Choice Voting for Texas advocated for several bills:

  • Allow Ranked Choice Voting as a local option for nonpartisan county, municipal, and school district elections (SB537, HB 2457).
    • This bill would enable local governments or school districts to use Ranked Choice Voting in their elections. By a majority vote, any local governing body could decide to conduct their elections using Ranked Choice Voting. The Secretary of State would prescribe procedures that a local jurisdiction would implement.
    • The Legislature would not be mandating use of Ranked Choice Voting but passage of this bill would provide Texas an opportunity to see how Ranked Choice Voting works in any jurisdiction that chooses to adopt it before determining whether to implement it for all voters as has been done for certain types of elections in other states.
    • 1-page paper on why this bill should be passed.
    • Outcome: No action was taken on this bill in either the House or the Senate during the 87th legislative session.
  • Enable military and overseas voters to use Ranked Choice Voting so their right to vote is not affected by delays in receiving ballots for runoff elections (HB740).
    • The election/runoff process does not run smoothly for overseas voters. Decreasing the number of elections by eliminating runoffs as a benefit of Ranked Choice Voting would help. Election administrators' jobs would be easier if they only had to send out one round of ballots to voters subject to the Uniform and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). Since the current 45-day timeline required before a runoff can be held in Texas still isn't guaranteed to solve the delay in delivery problem, sending one ballot before the first election allows more time for voters to cast a ballot and, even if a ballot doesn't get it back in time for the first round, it still will have been returned in time for the runoff.
    • 1-page paper on why this bill should be passed.
    • Outcome: The House Committee on Elections held a hearing on April 15, the bill was reported out favorably on April 29, and passed by the full House on May 14. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on State Affairs on May 17 but unfortunately no further action was taken before the legislative session ended.
  • Adopt Ranked Choice Voting to help sort through multiple candidates in primary elections (HB117).
    • As we increasingly see primary elections with many candidates on the ballot, our current method of voting often produces a nominee without broad support.  Where used, Ranked Choice Voting (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) allows voters to cast meaningful votes that produce a broadly supported nominee worthy of representing the party in the general election. It also avoids the time and expense of runoff elections.
    • Ranked Choice Voting eliminates the possibility of wasted votes for Early or Mail-in voters if candidates drop out before Election Day as was seen in the Democratic primary on Super Tuesday in 2020.
    • Ranked Choice Voting was used successfully in four state Democratic primaries and in Nevada’s Democratic Party caucuses for the 2020 presidential race. It has been used both for Republican Party (e.g. Utah, Virginia) and Democratic Party (e.g. Texas) conventions for their internal elections.
    • 1-page paper on why this bill should be passed.
    • Outcome: No action was taken on this bill in the House during the 87th legislative session.


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