Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 15th Comes and Goes Without Primary

On Tuesday the 15th, voters across Minnesota went down to their polling places to vote in municipal primaries. In many of these primaries, turnout was at its usual abysmal level (an appallingly low 5% in St. Paul), allowing a tiny minority of voters to winnow the choices for the general election.

But not in Minneapolis.

Instead, the people of Minneapolis have decided to use (and the City has worked very hard to implement) ranked choice voting, which combines the primary and general election into one event on November 3. Every candidate who filed gets to run all the way to the general, and voters get to choose among the whole field.

In order to prevent minority (or plurality) winners, voters may rank up to three candidates for single and multiple seat municipal offices. When polls close, the first choice votes for all candidates are sorted and counted. If no candidate receives the required number of votes to win in a particular race, a process of eliminating candidates and considering subsequent choices begins. If you want to know more about how the system works and see a sample ballot, go here.

I've been a supporter of ranked choice voting for more than a decade, and worked to get it on the ballot, win approval from the voters, and get it implemented, and I'm thrilled to let Minneapolis voters go to the polls on November 3rd without bothering with the expensive, low turnout primary.


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