Definition and meaning of instant-runoff voting (IRV): Instant-runoff meaning is a voting system designed to ensure that a majority of voters have their preferred candidate win, even when there are multiple candidates in the race and no single candidate has an outright majority. IRV works by having voters rank their preferred candidates in order of preference. If no candidate has a majority of first choices, the candidate with the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated, and the second-choice votes of those who had the least-popular candidate in their first choice are added to the next round of voting. This process continues until one candidate has the majority of votes.
IRV is seen as a more democratic way of voting, as it encourages more independent candidates to run and helps to break the stranglehold of the two-party system. It also eliminates the need for costly run-off elections, and can help to ensure that candidates with broad but not majority support are not excluded from the race.