Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank candidates on the ballot according to their preference - 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. Voters cast their vote for their favorite candidate knowing that if he or she doesn't gather enough votes to win, their vote will count toward their second choice. In a single-winner election, votes cast for the least popular candidate are not "wasted", but rather redistributed to more popular candidates, based on the voters' second choices, until one candidate wins with a majority of votes.
Who's Your Favorite President?
How Single Seat Elections Work:
MPR News: Instant Runoff Voting Explained
How Multiple Seat Elections Work:
Bi-partisan bill (S.F. 1446, H.F. 1737)
...would give communities more local control to use Ranked Choice Voting.
"As a former school board member, I know local communities are laboratories of innovation. This bill gives cities, counties and school districts the tools and flexibility they need to explore and, if they choose, to adopt a new approach to local elections that's been shown to work here in Minnesota." - Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing)
"This bill is a key step in allowing Minnesota cities the opportunity to improve local elections. It's exciting to see communities enact commonsense voting reforms that promote greater participation and more substantive elections." - Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope)
Minneapolis policy aide Robin Garwood: Ranked-choice voting: Minneapolis data show people use it with sophistication
In the May 13 Karen Boros article "Minneapolis political upheaval signals possible major change at City Hall," University of Minnesota Professor Larry Jacobs is quoted as saying “the idea that voters are going to have a detailed understanding of a number of candidates, that they’re going to be able to rank them, exceeds any research I’ve ever seen about voter knowledge.” He calls the idea that more than a quarter or third of voters will rank multiple candidates “just unrealistic.”
I’m not sure what basis Jacobs has for this assertion, but he’s not backed up by reality. And the reality is not hard to find: Just look at the results of the 2009 ranked-choice election in Minneapolis.
“It may take some time for voters to fully embrace Ranked Choice Voting, but in the face of candidates that reflect increasingly polarized ideologies more and more citizens are looking for alternatives that allow them to vote their conscience instead of hedging their electoral bets.”
Mike Logan, Governmental Affairs, Comcast
‘Palate to the Ballot’ Promotes RCV and a Better Democracy
Low turnout argues for earlier primary. Add ranked-choice voting to give every winner majority status.
Come meet the man Grist magazine calls a “prince of rock nobility [turned] wonky election reformist": Krist Novoselic. The bassist for Nirvana now serves as board chair for FairVote, our national counterpart working to reform elections across the country.
Wayzata, MN (May 23, 2012) -- “It’s just as easy to pass something bold,” state Sen. Terri Bonoff said to a packed room of nearly 150 civic, business, academic, legal and philanthropic leaders May 23, “as it is to pass something with baby steps.” That “something bold” is fundamental democracy reform – specifically, Ranked Choice Voting – and its time has plainly come in Minnesota.
Bonoff, a DFLer, and several other Minnesota political luminaries – including 2010 IP gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner, former Republican U.S. Sen. Dave Durenberger, and former Congressman Tim Penny – spoke with participants at FairVote Minnesota’s “Breaking Point: A Panel on Minnesota’s Political Future” about how RCV is our best hope for rebuilding a fractured, polarized democracy.
Once praised as a model of good government, our state is now suffering instability, confusion and stalemate.
The cliche that "politics is a blood sport" has never rung more true. Even in Minnesota, politics has gotten downright uncivil — and citizens are the real victims.
We've both worked in Minnesota politics, having served under two different Republican governors (Al Quie and Tim Pawlenty). It's been our perception — and we know many people across the political spectrum who share it — that demagoguery and divisiveness have been escalating for years. That might be good for purveyors of negative political advertising, but it's bad for the rest of the state: not just in dividual voters, but business and civic institutions as well.