Ranked Choice Voting will soon face one of its biggest tests: San Francisco. Also known as Instant Runoff Elections allows voters to vote for their candidate for office, but it also allows them to vote for multiple candidates as their second or third choice. In the event that no one wins a majority, this system allows the municipality to calculate the runoff without a costly second election.

However, the system is new and not everyone knows how to use it. In fact, recent polling in San Francisco, where Ranked-Choice Voting began in the mayoral election last week, 55 percent of voters were unsure of how the system works.

While the system was used in 2007, the overwhelming support of Mayor Newsom made the ranked-choice aspects irrelevant. And Oakland tested their system in their last mayoral election, but even that had some controversy attached.

From NBC Los Angeles:

The 2011 mayor’s race in San Francisco will be the largest test yet of the ranked-choice voting process, yet the majority of voters don’t understand how it works. 

In San Franciso (sic), 55 percent of voters polled in May had no clue as to how ranked voting works.

That’s a problem, since ranked-choice voting by mail has begun in San Francisco for the mayoral race and several others. The election will end at the polls on November 8th.

Read the full article here.