Runoff Options

Houstonians must vote again for mayor, controller and seven city council seats.

According to a Third Way analysis, in 2020, Harris County spent $1,696,591 on primaries and an additional $669,674 on runoffs. Voter turnout for the runoff decreased, as is typical, by 44%.

If Houston had ranked-choice voting, additional taxpayer cost to administer a second election, added costs for candidates and donors, and decreased voter participation in the final determination would have been avoided. Winners would already be known.

With this nonpartisan change, instead of voting for a single candidate, voters rank candidates on the ballot in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, the ranked preferences are considered to determine which candidate has the broadest support. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and voters who picked that candidate as their first choice have their second-choice votes count. This process is repeated until one candidate accumulates more than half of the votes, thus serving as an instant runoff.

No extra trip to the polls or costly additional election is needed and everyone who voted in the original election easily participates in the instant runoff.

Currently, the Texas Election Code does not allow use of ranked-choice voting. Ranked Choice Voting for Texas, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, volunteer-run organization, would like to change that!

What’s not to like about getting candidates elected with broad voter support, reducing costs and improving the voter experience? More information can be found at .

Harriet Wasserstrum, Bellaire, Chair, Ranked Choice Voting for Texas

Houston Chronicle, Letter to the Editor, December 1, 2023