Runoff Election Coming Soon in Tuscaloosa City . . .

A runoff election is most common in primary elections, where voters are choosing the candidates to run on the ballot for a certain office. However, runoff elections can also occur during general elections. The concept of a runoff election is a second election. It is held if the top vote-getting candidate in a first election - a primary or a general election - did not achieve the minimum percentage of votes required in that state.

Why is a runoff election needed in Tuscaloosa City?

The primary purpose of a runoff election is to ensure a winning candidate meets the required votes, usually 50% or more. However, that is different by state and office. For example, if there were five candidates for an office, possibly no one would achieve 30% of the vote. A runoff election would then take place between the top two vote-getting candidates.

What does a runoff election ballot look like?

A runoff election ballot is a short ballot that contains only the names of the two candidates under consideration.

When does a runoff election take place?

Each state that has runoff voting determines the date for its own elections, anywhere from two to nine weeks  following the first primary election.

What is instant runoff voting?

Instant runoff voting is a voting method that allows voters to rank their candidates by order of preference. Instant runoff voting can be used for:

  • Single-candidate offices
  • Elections when more than one candidate is being selected (for example, multiple school board members).

Learn about ranked choice, or instant runoff voting at FairVote ( is ranked choice voting used).

In Alabama a primary candidate must receive more than 50% of the vote, or a primary runoff election will be held nine weeks after the first primary. Only voters who voted in the primary the first time can vote in the runoff election.


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