Minnesota lawmakers consider ranked-choice voting bill

Published on April 16, 2024

ST. PAUL ā€” A bill in the Legislature would allow Minnesota cities and counties the option of using a ranked-choice voting system.

In a ranked-choice voting system, voters can rank multiple candidates in order of their preference. From there, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and voters who ranked them first have their votes go to their second choice. The process continues until a candidate achieves the required 50% of the vote.

Senate File 3868 would not mandate ranked-choice voting across the state, but it would give local governments the option to pursue it.

“I don’t see what the problem is in allowing cities to experiment with it,” Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said in his testimony in support of the bill in front of the State and Local Government and Veterans Committee on Tuesday, April 16. “Some cities will like it and want to keep it, and maybe some cities won’t like it, and they’ll want to ditch it, but let them decide what they want.”

Republican lawmakers criticized the bill, saying ranked-choice voting is confusing and doesn’t bring more voters to the polls.

“This isn’t a voting system that builds trust and transparency and accountability in our elections,” Senator Mark Koran said. “Frankly, I don’t think the results where it’s been put in place have delivered great outcomes.”

Originally published in the InForum
Published on April 16, 2024

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