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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 1. Administration
Agency 20. State Board of Elections
Chapter 100. Ranked Choice Voting

1VAC20-100-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Active ballot" means a ballot that counts toward an active candidate in the current round of counting.

"Active candidate" means a candidate or person who has not been defeated during a round-by-round vote count. In a count that lasts multiple rounds, the number of active candidates will decrease with each round.

"Duplicate ranking" means a voter has assigned one candidate multiple rankings.

"Election threshold" means the number of votes sufficient for a candidate to be elected in a multi-winner, single transferable vote contest. The election threshold equals the total votes counted for active candidates in the first round of tabulation, divided by the sum of one plus the number of offices to be filled, then adding one, disregarding any fractions. Election threshold = ((Total votes cast)/(Seats to be elected+1))+1, with any fraction disregarded.

"Highest-ranked active candidate" means the active candidate assigned to a higher ranking than any other active candidates.

"Inactive ballot " means a ballot that can no longer be counted due to the ballot having no active candidates in the round.

"Instant runoff voting" means no more than one seat in the office must be filled by the election.

"Ranked choice overvote" means a voter assigned more than one candidate the same ranking.

"Ranked choice voting" means a method of casting and tabulating votes in which (i) voters rank candidates in order of preference, (ii) tabulation proceeds in rounds such that in each round either a candidate or candidates are elected or the last-place candidate is defeated, (iii) votes for voters' next-ranked candidates are transferred from elected or defeated candidates, and (iv) tabulation ends when the number of candidates elected equals the number of offices to be filled. Ranked choice voting is known as "instant runoff voting" when electing a single office and "single transferable vote" when electing multiple offices.

"Ranking" means the ordinal number assigned on a ballot to a candidate to express the voter's preference for that candidate. Ranking number one is the highest ranking, ranking number two is the next-highest ranking, and so on, consecutively, up to the number of candidates indicated on the ballot.

"Round" means a stage of the vote tabulation in which a person may be elected or the last ranked person is defeated.

"Single transferable vote" means more than one seat in the office must be filled by the election.

"Skipped ranking" means a voter has left a ranking unassigned but ranks a candidate at a subsequent ranking.

"Surplus fraction" is a number equal to the quotient of the difference between an elected candidate's vote total and the election threshold, divided by the candidate's vote total, (or (V-T)/V, in which "V" is the elected candidate's vote total and "T" is the election threshold), truncated after four decimal places.

"Surplus vote" means the number of votes a candidate receives beyond the election threshold set for a transferable vote race.

"Transfer value" means the proportion of a vote that a ballot will contribute to its highest-ranked active candidate. Each ballot begins with a transfer value of one. If a ballot contributes to the election of a candidate under 1VAC20-100-50 B, it receives a new transfer value.

Statutory Authority

§ 24.2-673.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 9, eff. December 3, 2021.

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