Research on Capitol Hill

Presenter and Co-Presenter(s)

Logan Hemmert, Utah State UniversityFollow

Expected Graduation Year



College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Political Science Department

Faculty Mentor

Ryan Yonk


The exploration of electoral systems has long considered the impact that alternative voting systems could have on electoral outcomes. Alternative voting systems have long been assumed to impact electoral process, vote choice, and candidate success. Building on the earlier work and expanding the data used in “Trading places and Extreme Vote Makeover” by Yonk et al, we explore the impact of ranked choice voting in the City of Minneapolis, MN.

In this paper, we examine the impact that instant-runoff voting has had on incumbency rates in Minneapolis. Using data from mayoral and city council election ballots in Minneapolis from 2013, we examine the impacts of ranked choice voting on the engagement of elected officials and voters in the electoral process. It is well known that incumbents have many advantages over challengers, and systems like ranked-choice voting that take multiple voter preferences into account, may afford more protection to incumbents. Using the actual individual vote data for the city, we test that possibility empirically.

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