Choosing the next mayor of San Francisco is going to be three times easier than ordering a drink at Starbucks: When you want coffee, you get to choose one; you have three choices for mayor.

The face of the mayoral race will be different, as the city may need the instant runoff capabilities of its ranked-choice voting system. While the system was in place for the election of former Mayor Gavin Newsom, his victory was substantial enough to not require a run off. This year, the filed is crowded and lacking a clear front-runner.

If, ranked-choice election, no candidate receives a simple majority vote, a voter’s second and third choice for office is computed, resulting in an instant runoff.

From the San Francisco Examiner:

Gone are the days when voting was as simple as voting for the best person you most want to see serve. When voters head to the polls on Nov. 8, they will be asked to vote for not only who they want to win the most to serve as San Francisco’s mayor, but also their second and third choices.

For a chart detailing how ranked-choice voting played a role in Jean Quan’s surprise Oakland mayoral election victory, click on the photo to the right.

This way of voting for San Francisco’s mayor has yet to be tested in a citywide race – this is the first time what is known as ranked-choice voting will come into play in the race for The City’s top post.

Read the full article here.