Duluth City Council rejects ranked-choice voting plan

The Duluth City Council has rejected a plan to move forward with ranked-choice voting. It was a close vote Monday night: 5-4 after heated debate, reports the Duluth News Tribune.

The proposal had been to ask the Charter Commission to study RCV and report back in time for a possible November city referendum.

Opponents worried that the system, already in use for St. Paul and Minneapolis municipal elections, was too complicated.

The paper said the defeat riled Council President Linda Krug, who’d pushed hard for the change:

“Shame on you councilors,” she said. “I’m very disappointed that you would deny the citizens of Duluth and the charter commission an opportunity to study this issue because you don’t like it. You’ll have to sleep with that tonight.”

And Jeanne Massey, executive director of the FairVote Minnesota group that is working to implement RCV, expressed disappointed in the defeat, and said in a statement after the vote:

The evidence is there: given thoughtful voter education and a well-designed ballot, the “average voter” is absolutely capable of weighing several choices and ranking his or her three favorites on the ballot — and appreciates the chance to do that.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Mike Worcester on 06/11/2014 - 01:58 pm.

    Why The Opposition?

    In reading the Duluth News Tribune article, one does not get the sense of exactly why the five dissenters voted the way they did.

    Special interest groups certainly do not like ranked choice voting since it dilutes their ability to use single issues to sway voters. Consider that in 2001 the city of Roseville wanted to use it for a special election that year but had to get legislative approval. It appeared to be an easy bill to pass, but then a special interest group intervened and it did not pass.

    I’d be curious to read further and see why the councilors felt the ways they did to deny the citizens of their city the chance to learn about and vote on this proposal.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/11/2014 - 10:20 pm.

    Makes sense

    The political party that has to have people at the polls to explain to their voters how to fill out a ballot, probably shouldn’t be trying to make it even more complicated for their constituents. Jus sayin’.

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