Mankato Free Press: Minnesota needs ranked choice voting

Published on February 4, 2021

Andrew Weinzierl in The Mankato Free Press:

Rather than feeling pressured to vote for the lesser of two evils, we deserve an election process that is fair for all voters, promotes civility, and produces outcomes that are a truer reflection of the will of the people.

It’s time for Minnesota to pass ranked choice voting.

Take the 2020 election in congressional District 1 between incumbent Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R), Dan Feehan (D), and Bill Rood (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party) in 2020. The race was close; Hagedorn won by just 3% of the vote. Rood, a third-party candidate, got about 5.8% of the vote.

Given how incredibly close the race was, the votes cast for Rood may have contributed to the outcome of the race.

Under our current system and two-party duopoly, third-party candidates are simply less likely to get votes, because of the mindset that votes can be wasted on non-viable contenders. Instead, the results leave us not being able to decipher the true will of the people. Ranked choice voting will help fix this problem in our electoral process.

Ranked choice voting is used in five cities in the state. Maine and Alaska now use it statewide, cities in red and blue states use it, overseas military ballots in states with runoffs use it, and it is gaining traction for use in crowded presidential primaries. Maine was the first in the nation to use it for the U.S. president.

Please join me in contacting Rep. Luke Frederick (District 19B), Rep. Susan Akland (District 19A), and Sen. Nick Frentz (District 19). Urge them to support H.F. 89/S.F. 218 to strengthen our democracy by bringing ranked choice voting to Minnesota elections.

550 Vandalia St. #210

St. Paul, MN 55114

(763) 807-2550

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