Instant Runoff Voting and the Single Transferable Vote Elections Online


Desktop software for counting votes with ranked-choice voting.

Download OpenSTV


A web app to run ranked-choice voting elections online.

  • Run a secure election with up to one million voters where OpaVote emails each voter a voting link.
  • Run a poll where anyone can vote and optionally embed a poll widget on your own website.
  • Send reminder emails to voters who haven't voted to increase participation.
  • View results and download ballots at the end of the election.

Run an Online Election with OpaVote

To implement your own ranked-choice voting elections with OpaVote and OpenSTV:

  1. Run an entire election online using OpaVote or
  2. Collect the votes on your own (e.g., via paper ballots) and count the votes with OpenSTV.

Please send questions about OpaVote and OpenSTV to our Facebook page, our Google+ page, or our email group at openstv at

Voting matters — Issue 27

There are three papers in Voting matters Issue 27, now available at the Voting matters web site:

  • The paper by Joseph Durham and Peter Lindener, Moderated Differential Pairwise Tallying, considers a method of electing candidates using a preferential ballot which is quite unlike STV. The paper details the rationale behind the method, using Borda scores and Condorcet as starting points.

    As with all such methods, it is difficult to convince people to use a new system, even given a detailed analysis of its effects. How do voters react to knowing that later preferences can affect the earlier ones?

QPQ, a quota-preferential STV-like election rule

That's actually the title of a paper that Douglas Woodall published in Voting matters back in 2003. Woodall's introduction says, in part:

OpenSTV 1.5 Released

Announcing OpenSTV version 1.5 -- Software for computing the single
transferable vote, instant runoff voting, Condorcet, approval, and many
other voting systems. More details and download links are at

The most significant changes in this release are the following:

-- Improved format of election results
-- No limit on the number of candidates (previously was limited to 255
-- Election methods are now done as plugins so users can add their own
methods (although only for advanced users at this point).
-- Cambridge STV can save the winner's ballots in files for determining
replacements after a vacancy
-- Added statutes of some rules to the documentation
-- Added draft of New Zealand Meek (work in progress)
-- Added new method called QPQ

Try OpenSTV Online

Tim Fletcher has created an easy-to-use online Google app called Instant STV. With his app you specify a ballot file, select one of three methods (ERS97, Meek, and Warren), and request output in text or HTML. His app allows you to try OpenSTV before installing it on your computer.

The desktop version of OpenSTV has additional features that are not supported in Tim's app, such as numerous additional counting methods and the ability to create and edit ballot files.

Cornell Chronicle Article Cites Benefits of OpenSTV

Cornell University (my alma mater times two) recently used OpenSTV to count the votes for its election of the student member of its Board of Trustees. Cornell previously used an outside vendor to collect and count the votes. Now, Cornell uses its own system to collect the votes and uses OpenSTV to do the counting.

The Cornell Chronicle posted an article about the election and touting the benefits of OpenSTV:

Syndicate content