| Shomik Mukherjee | MSN |

OAKLAND — Can’t decide on just one candidate from the 10 running to be the city’s next mayor after Libby Schaaf leaves office? This year, you can give a nod to half of them.

The ranked-choice (also called instant runoff) election system allows voters to rank their favored candidates instead of picking just one. It gives voters far more choices to make but lets their voices be heard even if their preferred candidate doesn’t win.

Candidates have tried to capitalize on the format.

It also eliminates the need for primary elections and does away with expensive runoff campaigns.

Alameda County this year began allowing voters in cities that elect leaders through the ranked-choice format to name up to five candidates, instead of three. Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, San Leandro and Albany all have adopted instant-runoff elections.

In the crowded Oakland mayoral race, candidates have tried to capitalize on the format. Last week, council members Loren Taylor and Treva Reid urged their respective supporters to rank them first- and second-choice, regardless of which one voters prefer.

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