Duluth voters will decide in November whether to adopt ranked-choice voting

Duluth voters will decide in November whether to change their city charter to allow ranked-choice voting in future municipal elections.

More than 2,000 registered voters signed a petition to get the measure on ballot, reports the Duluth News Tribune. 

St. Paul and Minneapolis have already used the system in city elections. The paper describes the ranked-choice process:

Ranked-choice voting enables voters to support multiple candidates in order of preference. With a ranked-choice voting system, voters are asked to pick their first-, second- and third-choice candidates to serve in public office. The first-choice votes are then tallied, with the lowest-placing candidates eliminated one by one.

When candidates are knocked out of the race, their supporters’ second-and even third-choice votes come into play as they are allocated to the remaining candidates. As soon as any candidate garners more than 50 percent of the vote, he or she is declared the winner.

A simple majority of voters in the November election will decide if the process is adopted.

Last year, the Duluth City Council voted down a resolution to pursue ranked choice voting, which led to the petition drive, which easily surpassed the five percent of local ballots cast in the last general state election.

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