Ranked-choice voting is an alternative to plurality elections — which are when whoever receives the most votes wins, even if they don’t earn a majority of all votes.
Bangor Daily News: “Voters can rank as many of the candidates as they wish as their first, second and third choices, and so on. If no candidate receives a majority of all votes cast, the last-place candidate is eliminated from contention. The ballots from voters who ranked that candidate first are re-examined and all of their second-choice votes are added to the first-round totals. This continues until a candidate receives a majority of all votes cast and is declared the winner.”
Maine adopted ranked-choice voting in 2016 and the state released a cartoon explaining how it worked:
FairVote has a list of jurisdictions that currently use ranked-choice voting.