Capitol Rally for Ranked Choice Voting with Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan and U.S. Representatives Mary Peltola and Dean Phillips, as the Protect & Advance Democracy Act Passes Two More Committees
March 18, 2023
By Jeanne Massey and Erin Zamoff
What an exciting day for the Ranked Choice Voting movement in Minnesota! We started the day by passing the RCV bill out of TWO committees, one in the House and one in the Senate. And then, we had an inspiring rally for Ranked Choice Voting in the Capitol Rotunda with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and U.S. Reps. Mary Peltola and Dean Phillips!
The rally featured a huge number of you wearing your orange RCV shirts––thank you for coming!––and a few opponents who, with their disrespectful behavior unwittingly made the case for Ranked Choice Voting. It is that kind of incivility and divisiveness in our politics that RCV can help remedy. Indeed, it is the best reform to do so.
Rep. Peltola laid out the stakes for our democracy: “I’m now serving with people who lived through [January 6th], who were up in the gallery hiding that day. And what that event said to me is: we are too divided… We cannot maintain this type of rhetoric… in our political climate. We cannot afford to see each other as enemies. No one in this room is my enemy… We are all Americans here.”
Rep. Phillips echoed this same call for coming together: “My vision in Congress is to do something really simple, but also really difficult right now. And that is to bring people together, find common ground, and reward those who come into Congress, to state houses around the country for being decent, for working together, and disenfranchise the very extremes on both ends of the political spectrum. And I’ve never found a more suitable, actionable, and expeditious way to do so than Ranked Choice Voting.”
“Ranked Choice Voting is one of the ways to ensure that people feel like their vote is being counted, feel like it really matters, increases participation, and gives us better trust in our democracy,” Lt. Gov. Flanagan explained. She added, “Ranked Choice Voting is healthy for our democracy. It discourages negative campaigning and forces candidates to focus on the work that they’ll do if elected.”
Thank you to Lt. Gov. Flanagan, Rep. Peltola, Rep. Phillips, former Senator Melisa Franzen, Rep. María Isa Pérez-Vega, and Rep. Steve Elkins for speaking at the rally and to all of our allies in state government and at the legislature for championing one of the best reforms to counter the divisions in our politics and share a positive vision for a more inclusive and representative democracy.
We are especially grateful to our Chief authors Sen. Kelly Morrison and Rep. Cedrick Frazier for leading the RCV bill through the legislative process and to Rep. Peltola and all of the community members, advocates and officials who provided testimony at the hearings and shared the positive potential of Ranked Choice Voting!
The amended bill that passed in the House Elections Committee had several changes made, some of which we agree with and some of which we do not. Rest assured, we will continue to work to improve the bill as it moves forward.
You can help by:
- Contacting your legislator and urging them to support the RCV bill (even if you’ve already done so, they need to hear from you again);
- Sharing the Contact-Your-Legislator link (fairvotemn.org/contactyourlegislator) with MN friends and family by email, text, or on Facebook and Twitter;
- Donating to FairVote MN; and
- Volunteering with FairVote MN — whether you have five minutes or five hours, there are ways to support our mission.
We will keep you updated on the status of the bill and how you can contribute. Now is the time for all of us to join together and do this work.
We want to close by sending a special thank you to all of you who showed up at the Capitol yesterday. We had a sea of orange RCV shirts at BOTH hearings and the rally, demonstrating the widespread support for this movement. Your presence mattered, and we can’t thank you enough.