LETTER: Setting the record straight on RCV

Published on August 15, 2023

To the Editor:

I take issue with several statements Ann Aanestad made in her letter to the editor last week.

First of all, I volunteered on the campaign to bring ranked choice voting to Minnetonka, along with many other Minnetonka residents. The notion that an “outside group” somehow coerced 18,475 Minnetonka voters to support RCV is ridiculous. The community-led the effort and voters adopted RCV because it empowers voters, widens the candidate pool, incentivizes candidates to focus on issues instead of negative campaigning, and ensures winners have a majority of voter support without holding an expensive, low-turnout summer primary.

For another point of clarification, the University of Minnesota isn’t opposed to RCV – one professor who is opposed to RCV did a three-page write-up that listed some bullet points to support his position. It was hardly a thorough study on the subject.

Thirdly, ranked choice voting is not confusing — in our first RCV election, people knew how to rank their ballots and were motivated to vote, as evidenced by the 99.99% valid ballot rate and the dramatic increase in voter turnout (up more than 50% compared to average for general city council elections since 1985, and 95% higher than the average over the past 10 years).

And finally, the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 2009 that ranked choice voting is fully constitutional: “Every voter has the same opportunity to rank candidates when she casts her ballot, and in each round every voter’s vote carries the same value.” Federal courts have also ruled that RCV meets all tests under the U.S. Constitution.

I find it ironic that RCV opponents say they want to “protect the basic principle of one person, one vote,” yet when they don’t like an election outcome, they deny the will of the majority of voters in a high-turnout election and force a re-vote on the same thing again – in an off-year election.

Join me at the polls this fall to again support local democracy by voting NO on the repeal of ranked-choice voting.

Originally published in the The Sun Sailor
Published on August 15, 2023

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