LETTER: Election poster child for ranked-choice voting

Published on August 31, 2022

If there were ever an election poster child for ranked-choice voting (RCV), the open election for Hennepin County attorney would be it. This is a nonpartisan race in which the top two candidates in the Aug. 9 primary will advance to the general election in November. In a highly competitive race with seven candidates, the top two who move on are likely to do so with a small share of voter support. This split-vote result will be compounded by low turnout in an early August primary.

RCV eliminates the need for an expensive, low-turnout primary and allows all the candidates to compete for voters in November, when turnout is significantly higher and more diverse. RCV ensures the winner with the broadest appeal wins. Voters rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate earns majority support outright — likely in a field of seven candidates — then the candidate with the least support is eliminated and those ballots transfer to those voters’ second choices. This instant runoff continues until one candidate reaches a majority and wins.

In a race this important to the future of public safety and criminal justice in Hennepin County, ensuring our next chief attorney is trusted by a majority of voters is essential. Unfortunately, our voting system doesn’t guarantee that. It’s time to make RCV the way we vote up and down the ballot and ensure our elected leaders represent the broad majority of voters and citizens.

Jennifer and Denny Bennett, Minneapolis

Originally published in the Star Tribune
Published on July 27, 2022

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