Although all systems are flawed, San Francisco State associate professor of political science Francis Neely said, this one "uses more information from voters about their preferences and produces an outcome that many would argue is better, because we often have more than just a single candidate who we approve of."
In the old system, Perata and Quan would have competed in a typical runoff, described by Hill as a contest "where you and I raise a large amount of money and completely attack each other."
Still, even consultants like Parke Skelton, who ran Quan's campaign, contend that voters can lose out without the dialogue of a true runoff, particularly in a multi-candidate race where insurgent candidates struggle to be heard.
"It expresses the popular will better than a situation where you'd have a low-turnout runoff election. But is it perfect? No," Skelton said. "You can't succeed in a ranked-choice system unless you can communicate to everyone. The whole universe is basically a swing universe to you."