To the Editor:
Bruce Honnigford’s August 29 letter included misinformation, as well as conspiracy theories, about ranked choice voting and its adoption in Minnetonka that must be corrected. First, the movement to bring ranked choice voting to Minnetonka was started not by out-of-state “wealthy elite,” but by Minnetonka residents, including me, who wanted to make our local elections more inclusive, efficient and representative. We partnered with FairVote Minnesota, a state-based nonprofit that educates and advocates for ranked choice voting. FairVote Minnesota is completely separate, both financially and organizationally, from the national FairVote group cited in that letter. While both organizations support RCV and share a similar name, the funding is separate.
Second, ranked choice voting is a better way to vote. It eliminates a summer primary in which only five percent of city voters determined who the rest of us could vote for in the general election, and consolidates two rounds of voting into one instant runoff election in November, when turnout is higher and more representative. So contrary to the suggestion that RCV benefits “elites,” it is actually more inclusive of the city’s voters and ensures that our city leaders are supported by a majority of those voters.
Finally, ranked choice voting was not “sold” to Minnetonka residents in 2020; 54.7% of them voted for it in a high-turnout presidential election year – a good indication of what the vast majority of Minnetonka residents support. This fall, opponents are trying to overturn that result in a low-turnout, off-year election, when many voters are not paying attention. I, along with my neighbors and friends in Minnetonka who support RCV, will not let that happen. We are going to share the facts about RCV in Minnetonka; RCV makes our elections more inclusive, cost-effective and civil. Indeed, it can reduce the very divisiveness on display in that letter. Minnetonka’s first ranked-choice election was a huge success, with higher turnout and the most candidates ever for city council.
I am proud to be a grassroots supporter of RCV in Minnetonka, and I ask you to join me in voting no on repeal to save it.