Guest Blog: Want a Stronger Democracy?

Published on April 12, 2021

By Andy Dawkins

Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, 65A; 1987 – 2003.

Want a stronger democracy? Make sure everyone who wins an election gets 50% of the vote. It’s called Instant Run-Off or Ranked Choice Voting and it’s up for a vote at the MN Legislature. It also encouragesmore people to run and appeal to a broader cross-section of the electorate.

Here’s how it works:

Joe Democrat gets 30%, Ann Republican gets 20%, Lincoln Republican (a new party) gets 15%, Green Lilly gets 15%, Independent Jim gets 11%, and Kay Legalize-It gets 9%. That’s on the first count. No one got 50%, so last place Kay is eliminated and her ballots are re-tabulated for her voters’ second choice. This results in increases for everyone but still no one gets 50%. Now Jim is in last. He is eliminated and his votes are re-tabulated for his voters’ second choice. Ditto happens to Lilly. Still no one has 50%, but now it’s down to three candidates: Joe Democrat 43%, Ann Republican 37%, and Lincoln Republican 20%. These Lincoln Republicans are going to decide the election. Who did a better job of appealing to the moderate Lincoln Republicans, Joe Democrat or Ann Republican?

If you like this idea of having to appeal to a broader section of the electorate, rather than just appealing to your party base, if you like this idea of more candidates running for office, if you like this idea of not wasting your vote when you vote for your under-dog ideal candidate, then call your legislators to support House File 89 and Senate File 218.

550 Vandalia St. #210

St. Paul, MN 55114

(763) 807-2550

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