As you’ve likely heard, we’re using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to elect our mayor, city council members, park board representatives and member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation on Nov. 5. Adopted by the voters in 2006 and used for the first time in 2009, RCV will get its first big test in this year’s open, competitive mayoral election.
Ranked Choice Voting works just like two elections – a primary and a general election,– but it’s done in a single trip to the polls. It has eliminated the low-turnout August primary, when historically a tiny, unrepresentative group of voters culled the field to just two choices for everyone else.
RCV allows you to identify two backup choices in case your #1 candidate doesn’t gather enough support to make it past the early rounds of counting. That means choosing your favorite, plus two other candidates you could live with – and marking them in order of preference on your ballot.
Identifying second and third choices isn’t mandatory, but it’s smart. Ranking your ballot 1-2-3 gives you more choice and gives your ballot more power.
Each ballot will have three columns. Simply mark the ballot left to right, indicating your first choice in the first column, your second choice in the next column, and your third choice in the column after that.
“Bullet voting,” marking just one choice or marking the same candidate in all three columns, is identical to only picking a first choice. It’s just like voting in the primary, but sitting out the general election if your first choice doesn’t make it through.
Fully ranking your ballot in the mayoral and other multicandidate races means that if your favorite candidate doesn’t gather enough support in early rounds of counting and is eliminated, your vote will transfer to your next choice and you’ll continue to be part of the decision-making process.
Identifying three candidates that are acceptable to you takes a bit more effort than choosing one, to be sure. But it’s worth it, and ensures there’s a bigger chance you’ll help elect someone you like – or could live with.
To learn more about how RCV works in Minneapolis, visit vote.minneapolismn.gov and http://rankyourvotempls.org/
Click here to see a video about how Ranked Choice voting works:
And click here to download your sample ballot.
Happy Election Day, and remember to rank your ballot on Nov. 5! Thanks for all you do to make our neighborhood, and our city, stronger.
The LCC Staff