Laura Calbone and Marcia Wattson in The Sun Current:
We are thrilled that ranked-choice voting passed and that Bloomington voters will begin using it in mayoral and city council elections starting next year.
Thank you to everyone who voted yes on ballot question 3, who believe our elections can be more positive, more inclusive, more representative and more cost-effective.
The victory is one of five historic wins for ranked-choice voting local ballot measures across the country, including Minnetonka; Albany, California; Eureka, California and Boulder, Colorado. These ranked-choice voting victories demonstrate the momentum for democracy reform that puts power back in the hands of the people.
With the adoption of ranked-choice voting, Bloomington will eliminate the costly, low-turnout city primary in August and hold one election for mayor and city council in November, when voter turnout is higher and more representative of the community.
It is now up to the Bloomington City Council to write an ordinance implementing the charter change. Then, it’s up to the Bloomington voters to show as much enthusiasm for choosing their local leaders as they do in electing their state and national representatives.
According to early estimates, more than 85% of Bloomington voters participated in the recent election, but our city council November elections rarely exceed 30% turnout. Increased turnout becomes more likely when voters have more choices and candidates reach out to more voters. We look forward to more competitive and robust city council elections next year as ranked-choice voting gets underway.
And we look forward to voters ranking their preferences. We stand ready to help with voter outreach to ensure every resident is educated about the new process and is prepared to rank their ballots. We expect voter understanding and support for ranked-choice voting will grow in Bloomington, as it has in other cities, as voters experience the benefits ranked-choice voting brings to the process.
Laura Calbone and Marcia Wattson
Calbone is chair and Wattson is treasurer of the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting Bloomington.