A bipartisan group in the Legislature wants to ban ranked-choice voting in Minnesota

REUTERS/Derek Hauck
Currently only Minneapolis and St. Paul use ranked-choice voting for local elections, but the bill seeks to prohibit the method anywhere in the state.

It isn’t so much that a bill has been filed in the Minnesota Legislature to ban ranked-choice voting that has its supporters so concerned. Having GOP lawmakers attempt to pre-empt issues passed in Minneapolis and St. Paul has been one of the themes of the last two sessions, with limited success.

But House File 3690 is different: It has bipartisan sponsorship, which might have led to an even louder alarm being sounded. “I’m writing with shocking and distressing news,” Jeanne Massey of FairVote Minnesota, which specifically advocates for ranked-choice voting, wrote to the organization’s supporters. “A few state legislators are attempting to trample all over local electoral control and cities’ choice to use Ranked Choice Voting.”

Massey urged recipients to contact the bill’s sponsors, listing contact information for Republican Reps. Linda Runbeck of Circle Pines, Tim O’Driscoll of Sartell and Cindy Pugh of Chanhassen as well as DFL Rep. Michael Nelson of Brooklyn Park.

A fifth sponsor of the bill, Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, has asked that her name be removed from the bill.

A proposal due for rollout Wednesday in the state Senate — Senate File 3325 — also has bipartisan support, including chief sponsor, Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch, and Sen. John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin. In the past, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has said he won’t consider any election-related bills that don’t have backing from members of both parties.

Currently only Minneapolis and St. Paul use ranked-choice voting for local elections, but the bill seeks to prohibit the method anywhere in the state, saying local governments “may not adopt or enforce in any manner a rule, resolution, or ordinance establishing ranked-choice voting as a method of voting.”

The list of local governments includes just about everything but park districts, and would cover charter and statutory cities, townships, counties and school districts.

How RCV works

In a ranked-choice-voting election, voters rank each of the candidates first, second and third, etc. In each round, the lowest-vote-getter drops out and their second choice votes are distributed to the surviving candidates. This is repeated until a candidate gets more than 50 percent or until a candidate has a plurality after others have been eliminated.

Jeanne Massey
MinnPost file photo by Jana Freiband
Jeanne Massey

Supporters of RCV make numerous claims about its usefulness, including that it encourages more civil campaigns because candidates vie to be the second or third choice of voters who don’t support them initially. Saying bad things about other candidates could alienate their supporters and make it harder to win their second choice vote.

In cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul, places so dominated by a single party that traditional primaries often determined who would win office, RCV also puts all candidates on the ballot during the larger-turnout November elections, when low-income residents and people of color tend to participate in larger numbers.

Critics of RCV think it contributes to public agreement but takes disagreements and political attacks underground, where it is harder to attribute them to individual candidates. Other criticisms are that it isn’t well understood and that it fails to cull the field of candidates in a way that lets voters concentrate on just two.

“It does not appear to have achieved the goals that were originally stated: simplicity, lower cost, less negativity, and more participation,” said Koran, one of the Senate bill sponsors. “But it seems to have inserted a lot of uncertainty about who is this even for? Does it really provide more choices?”

Taking away the will of the voters?

Minneapolis was the first city to use RCV during its 2009 election, after successfully defending lawsuits against the method and prevailing in the state Supreme Court. Since Minneapolis and St. Paul voters approved RCV, voters in Duluth rejected it. It has also been considered by city councils in St. Louis Park, Rochester and Red Wing, but has not yet been adopted in other cities.

Koran doesn’t live in a city with ranked-choice voting currently, but he fears some in his district are looking at implementing it. Born and raised in St. Paul, Koran said he has family members in the city who are frustrated by the system.

“Every vote should count, and every vote should be as simple as ‘I picked my top candidate,’ ” he said. “I think it changes the dynamics of, do you win by a second or third chance? It just doesn’t seem natural, and we have an established elections process that has worked well for more than 100 years.”

State Sen. Mark Koran
State Sen. Mark Koran

Nelson, a Brooklyn Park Democrat who’s supporting the bill, has already gotten about a dozen calls from people opposing his move to support it, but only a few from those in his own district. He does like that RCV eliminates primaries, which “does save money for the local municipalities,” he said. But he also thinks election systems should be the same across the state. “The state is the ultimate administrator of the election.”

Former Minneapolis Council Member Elizabeth Glidden said she was surprised by the bill, but noted that it isn’t the first attempt to pre-empt local government actions. Glidden, who sponsored Minneapolis’ original ranked-choice voting ordinance in 2006, said it does take pre-emption to a different level because both the Minneapolis measure in 2006 and the St. Paul measure in 2009 were charter amendments, meaning they were directly approved by voters.

By contrast, other local issues that have drawn fire from the Legislature — citywide minimum wages, paid leave, plastic bag bans — have passed with council votes only and weren’t approved at the ballot.

“I can understand that there are people in Minnesota and legislators too who don’t like this [RCV] voting method,” Glidden said. “The thing that was most surprising to me about the bill was that it took authority away from cities to be able to have that discussion, especially for cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul and other charter cities.”

“We had this on the ballot and voters went through the process of determining would they support it or not,” Glidden said. “This would be a bill that would, in essence, take away the will of the voters.”

But Koran pushed back on the idea that referendums always reflect the will of the voters. He noted a 2016 ballot initiative statewide that asked voters if they wanted to create an independent commission to decide legislative salaries. The way the question was worded, he said, made it seem like legislative salaries were out of control and a commission would put a check on them. In reality, legislators hadn’t had a pay raise in nearly two decades. Voters overwhelmingly approved the ballot initiative and the new council quickly voted to raise legislator pay.

“The referendums always sound good,” he said, “but often they are stacked against the average citizen.”

Comments (31)

  1. Submitted by Gene Nelson on 03/14/2018 - 10:54 am.

    I don’t like ranked-choice

    I understand the value of ranked-choice when you have a local election as we’ve seen in Minneapolis with so many candidates…but that’s the only place for it…local elections…and then to have a runoff for the final four or five candidates.
    I believe in one vote per candidate.
    I don’t believe in watering down our vote, just like I so dislike this inane superdelegate issue with the Dems. Our vote should never be diluted.

  2. Submitted by Alex Schieferdecker on 03/14/2018 - 11:03 am.

    FUD

    Senator Koran asks “Does it really provide more choices?”

    I suggest he examine the recent elections in Minneapolis, where there were no less than five credible and broadly supported candidates for the mayor’s office, each representing a different niche in Minneapolis’ liberal to socialist political spectrum. Or else, he look at the recent election in St. Paul, in which voters could choose between a broad field of candidates including three current and former city councilmembers.

    I am struck time and time again by how disingenuous the arguments made against ranked choice voting, which always seem to boil down to how complicated it is (as if people are incapable of ranking their preferences), how it hasn’t achieved some mythical future electoral utopia (that proponents are supposed to have promised), or just misc. fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

    Honestly, it seems like a nice change, not an earth-shattering change, and I’m baffled by why some people are so committed to undoing it.

  3. Submitted by Brian Scholin on 03/14/2018 - 11:28 am.

    Ignorance? Arrogance? Or both?

    I understand how an argument can be made for preemption on a topic such as minimum wage, where individuals may work across jurisdictions, and confusion may conceivably result. I think it is a weak argument, but not irrational.

    But in this case, any argument made against RCV has to be either ignorance (“I just don’t get it!”) or arrogance (“I know better then those liberal nut jobs in the city!”). Perhaps both. No one votes across jurisdictions. RCV may take a bit of getting used to, but it is a pretty straightforward plan, with rational arguments in its favor, and possibly some against as well. There can be no valid case for preemption that I can see. It hurts no one to let some cities try it.

    My bet is on “both”.

  4. Submitted by James Hamilton on 03/14/2018 - 11:33 am.

    Why do some oppose it?

    Because we fear it will further Balkanize* local government, in part, or that it will lead to a more parliamentary form of government.

    *divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups.

  5. Submitted by Paul John Martin on 03/14/2018 - 11:39 am.

    That 2016 Initiative on Legislator pay

    Sen Koran thinks it backfired. Arrogance again. Many of us were aware that the problem was that our legislators were chronically underpaid, and that this left them more open to being ‘bought’ by moneyed interests. It also led to constant resignations by those who simply could not afford to continue to serve, and therefore a legislature open largely to the wealthy or retired. I voted for it precisely because our legislators needed to be paid more, and would not vote that for themselves.

    • Submitted by Joseph Totten on 03/20/2018 - 05:31 pm.

      Agreed

      It was very well discussed throughout the media that our legislators were paid a low wage, and that they would refuse to vote for it themselves. It passed on its merits and the Senator cannot believe that something he didn’t want would appeal to voters.

  6. Submitted by Mike Schumann on 03/14/2018 - 11:56 am.

    Why Politicians Don’t Like RCV

    What is really going on here is that professional politicians from both sides of the aisle want to turn the clock back to a system were the small lunatic fringe groups that bother to go to their precinct caucuses and/or vote in primary elections get to limit the candidates that the silent majority get to choose from in the general election.

    What they don’t want is a system that makes it possible for middle of the road, or heaven forbid 3rd party, candidates from having a chance to be on the general election ballot.

    They also don’t like the new climate under rank choice voting where you have to be nice to your opponents in the hope of getting their supporter’s 2nd choice votes. What fun is an election without attack ads?

    Instead of trying to get rid of Rank Choice Voting, how about state wide term limits for all offices????

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/14/2018 - 12:32 pm.

      Synonyms

      The synonym for “term limits” is “elections”. Coming soon to a voting booth near you.

    • Submitted by Gene Nelson on 03/14/2018 - 01:08 pm.

      Drop the caucus

      I don’t like ranked choice voting and I don’t like the caucus idea.
      Neither promote democracy or one vote per candidate.

    • Submitted by Michael Jones on 03/15/2018 - 12:24 pm.

      Ranked Choice Voting

      Mike S is correct. Ranked choice voting would take away the power of political insiders to select who we may consider electing. Their offering the same candidate(s) every two years explains the need for term limits. Third party candidates would actually have a reasonable chance to succeed.

      The folks in both Minneapolis and St Paul learned how it works so even a sitting Senator could probably figure it out if it was explained to him very slowly.

  7. Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/14/2018 - 12:37 pm.

    Good news

    RCV is, and has always been, a solution in search of a problem.

    Its main talking point is that it guarantees majority winners. The only problem is that claim is false, and there have been two straight Minneapolis mayors who have been elected with less than 50 percent of the vote. Yet FairVote is still making this claim. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised since they were cited and fined for deliberately misleading voters in their St. Paul ballot campaign.

    https://mn.gov/oah/assets/032520939rt_tcm19-162407.pdf

    Have campaigns been more civil because of RCV? I sure haven’t seen it? Does it actually save money? My understanding is it won’t (and has cost more) unless all elections are moved to RCV. Have 3rd-party or longshot candidates been getting elected. Maybe there is a reason those candidates were long-shots and people don’t support 3rd-parties.

    Voting should be as simple as possible. If you are electing one person, show up and vote for the person you want.

    • Submitted by Robert Henderson on 03/14/2018 - 01:23 pm.

      RCV it works

      It is correct that Jacob Frey won with less than 50% of the vote. But, he had the most votes of any candidate. Do you think that affects the legitimacy of his win? Perhaps you should be reminded that this happens in elections without ranked choice. Tim Pawlenty won twice with less than 50%. Want to argue with that result?

      Are campaigns more civil. The answer is yes, I worked on a campaign for mayor, the need to be civil and respectful to get the second choice is real, it works. I was there, I saw it, I experienced it in phone calls, door knocks, advertising and campaign communications. It also kept people on the ballot that would have not have been there with our RCV and offered voters more choice. Why hate that.

      I could care less what your “understanding” of the money savings is. The translation of that is, you don’t know. Why try and pass that off as a fact. Give us facts, if you have them.

      Finally, we need something that breaks this winner takes all system where compromise is never attempted and we end up with a minority of dedicated and narrow minded activists choosing candidates for an electorate that is actually much more moderate and center thinking.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/14/2018 - 03:34 pm.

        No it doesn’t

        The lack of a majority doesn’t affect the legitimacy – the point was that RCV advocates made (and continue to make) a false claim to support their system. They claiming RCV guarantees majority winners, and if doesn’t. And in muncipal elections with a primary the narrows the field to two, there actually is a guarantee of a majority. Every Minneapolis election under the old system had a majority winner. Every election with RCV does not.

        You may have been more civil, but the campaigns were not. You are kidding yourself if you think otherwise.

        As far as cost goes, its the RCV advocates who have claimed it will save money, and that’s another claim that isn’t true.

        The idea that RCV breaks the winner-take-all mentality is absolute nonsense. Its an election – there is only one winner. One person will be elected mayor.

        • Submitted by Sean O'Brien on 03/15/2018 - 08:34 am.

          Currently limited to 3 choices

          Fully ranked choice voting, where with all of the, say, 12 canditates on the ballot each voter is able to assign a rank from 1 to 12, would guarantee a majority winner after 10 of the 12 candidates have been eliminated. The type of RCV in place in Minneapolis allows for the ranking of 3 candidates only, thus a winner with less than 50% of the votes.

          • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/15/2018 - 09:57 am.

            Completely false

            Having more choices does not guarantee majority winners. The only way to guarantee majority winners would be to require voters to rank every single candidate on the ballot or have their ballot invalidided.

            Having more choices would increase the chances of a majority winner – there are some voters who would fill out more than 3 choices. But some voters only want 3. Or 1. And you can’t make voters vote for all 12 candidates (or all 35 from 2013). The idea that someone could competently rank all the obscure candidates is absurd, and forcing someone to rank (and have their vote possibly count for) someone they abhor is offensive. And also unconstitutional.

            And as long as you have the potential for an exhausted ballot, you can’t guarantee a majority winner. To be fair, the false claim you are making has also been used by Fairvote and RCV advocates. If a voting system is truly better, they shouldn’t have to spread misinformation to support it.

    • Submitted by Adam Miller on 03/14/2018 - 01:51 pm.

      57.2 % of Minneapolis voters voted for Frey in one of their free options (I was not among them). How is that not a majority?

      I’m also skeptical that there are any great benefits too it, but it’s the system that Minneapolis and St. Paul have chosen and there’s not reason for these suburban legislators to try to override those decisions.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/14/2018 - 04:02 pm.

        Not a majority

        57.2 percent of voters did not vote for Frey. 44.7 percent did.

        There were 104,522 valid ballots cast. After all the rounds of re-allocation, Frey had 46,716 votes, or 44.7 percent.

        The 57.2 percent figure represents Frey’s share of votes between himself and the second place candidate, Ray Dehn, who got 34,971 votes (33.5 percent). But 22,835 voters (21.8 percent) did not put either Frey or Dehn anywhere on their ballots. Those voters showed up and cast valid ballots. The fact that they didn’t vote for the most popular candidates doesn’t mean they were disenfranchised.

    • Submitted by Scott Wood on 03/15/2018 - 01:06 am.

      “Majority winners” isn’t — or rather shouldn’t be — its main talking point. It’s pretty tenuous to claim that someone got a majority, only by excluding the candidates that some of those voters would have preferred. But, that’s no worse than standard plurality elections. The actual benefits of RCV include the ability to have multiple people/parties competing in an election with a much reduced spoiler effect. One effect of this is that it makes the elimination of primaries viable (though RCV would still be valuable even if primaries were retained), which among other things makes it possible for more moderate candidates to have a chance to appeal to the general electorate without being filtered out in a highly polarized primary environment (and conversely, allows voters more firmly to one side or the other to vote
      for the candidate they truly prefer rather than worrying about electability in a subsequent election).

      Another is that it gives third parties a fair chance to win votes without being a spoiler (usually — there are still some scenarios where strategic voting matters, but it’s nowhere near as bad as with plurality voting). Yes, third party candidates have usually been long shots, but that’s reinforced by a voting system in which nobody with a serious shot of winning would run as third party. With RCV third parties have the opportunity to run more mainstream candidates, if they choose to do so. I’m a Democrat in a heavily Democratic city. While I certainly prefer that to an environment where Republicans (or others with a similar agenda) are competitive, I welcome the possibility of multiple viable left-leaning parties (and/or small parties focused on local issues) to make it more likely that voters have real choice in each election.

      BTW, you can still show up and vote for one person if you want, though I don’t understand why ranking candidates is seen as complicated.

  8. Submitted by John Ferman on 03/14/2018 - 01:02 pm.

    RCV in Mpls

    One of the little known facts is that note all ballots cast are counted in thefinal tallies. There is a detailed ordnance on RCV and the basies for not counting certain ballots are murky. One is when the election judge can not determine a voters intent and what that means fir the so-called ‘exhaustedballot.’ There are no rock solid rules for not counting certain ballots.

  9. Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 03/14/2018 - 01:21 pm.

    Good Riddance!

    RCV proponents argued that adding up 2nd and 3rd choice votes to reach a “majority” was more fair than awarding the election to the person who received the most votes on the first ballot, but could never explain why one was “more fair” than the other. And, since a person elected with a plurality has no more or no less authority or standing than one elected with a majority, the argument never made sense anyway.

    In Minneapolis, we often heard RCV proponents claiming that their system allows people to “vote their heart” without have to worry about “wasting” their vote. This nearly always harkened back to proponents saying they wanted to vote for Ralph Nader in 2000 but were either fearful or unable to do that because it might help George Bush by denying Al Gore their votes. Of course it is never explained how voting for the person you want elected is a “wasted vote”.

    • Submitted by Adam Miller on 03/14/2018 - 02:20 pm.

      This isn’t hard

      A person who voted for Nader in Florida but prefered Gore to Bush made a huge mistake in 2000. They should have voted strategically to avoid Bush getting elected.

      I think Ward 11 provides a good example of the a value of ranked choice voting. We had two strong challengers to the underwhelming incumbent. I would have been happy to have either of them replace him. Without ranked choice voting, I’d have had to choose the one who I thought, strategically, had the best chance to win. That would have been yet another straight white guy (like me), who I figured had some structural advantages. Even though I would have prefered to vote for greater diversity and representation, because a close call should err in that direction. Loe and behold, Schroeder did win.

      Because we had ranked choice voting I could vote first for the candidate I preferred, then for the candidate who was my second choice, and not risk that my vote for my preferred candidate meant I’d wind up with the incumbent I didn’t want reelected.

      It also meant that a queer candidate of color could get her full measure of support in the general election rather than getting pushed aside in a primary.

      • Submitted by Joseph Totten on 03/20/2018 - 05:54 pm.

        Also

        Of the 7 City Council races that required a runoff only 1 had too many exhausted ballots to reach a majority. Why all of the focus solely on the mayoral race in a weak-mayor city?

        Park Board? 4/6 needing ranked choice crossed the ‘majority’ threshold, including 2/3 in the at large seats where no one had reached the 1/4 threshold prior to the runoffs. (Even with nearly 1/4 of the electorate not voting for any candidate in that election, we approached all the candidates who did receive votes nearing the 1/4 threshold for election).

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/14/2018 - 04:05 pm.

      To be clear

      Even with 2nd and 3rd choices, there still wasn’t a majority. I’m

  10. Submitted by Alan Straka on 03/14/2018 - 01:43 pm.

    RCV is a boon for third parties and disaffected voters.

    I like the idea of ranked choice voting because it allows a person to vote their conscience without having to worry about throwing their vote away on a candidate who does not have the backing of one of the major parties. I can vote for a third party candidate to indicate I prefer that candidate or simply to show my displeasure with the major party candidates. My second choice can be my preferred choice of the major candidates. To use the last presidential contest as an example, we had two odious major party candidates, one more so than the other (the reader can decide which is which), so a person could vote for Johnson or Stein or even a write in for their first choice and for their second choice, the lesser of two evils. The voter gets to make their preference known and can still have a say in who actually wins. Who knows, if their are enough voters who actually prefer a third party candidate but wouldn’t vote for him for fear of throwing away their vote, it could result in the actual preferred candidate winning. It is no surprise that major party legislators would oppose rcv, they have nothing to gain by it and everything to lose.

  11. Submitted by Adam Miller on 03/14/2018 - 02:21 pm.

    Butt out

    None of these legislators is from Minneapolis or St. Paul. They should stay out of it.

  12. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 03/14/2018 - 02:36 pm.

    It is not natural?

    At one point, slavery was consider natural, with racism its basis. 8 year olds working and getting maimed in factories – natural, because children were property of their parents. Women not voting or owning property – as God intended them to be the handmaidens of their husband? Segregation – natural to avoid race mixing? The list going on. Are we stuck with natural? No, we can strive for smart and effective.

    Our system of politics is one of two dominant parties taking starkly contrasting positions. Neither natural or effective. Life is more complicated than that.

    It is pretty easy to make to suggest our country is worse off than others because of our election system. Take the Republican Party. How did Trump get nominated? He had his supporters, but with ranked choice, where people can reject as well as support candidates, for how many Republicans beyond his base, would he been their second or third choice? I say few. He succeeded at the game of circular Russian roulette.

    Our system elects those with extreme views – essentially pick your poison, with dirty politics being rewarded.

    Republicans don’t have to worry about offending large majorities of the population on an issue like universal background checks because what matters to them is only what those who find their campaigns. The talk about fairness in elections is just smoke and mirrors.

  13. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 03/14/2018 - 02:38 pm.

    RCV

    A great solution! We get more players, more diversified ideas, and you don’t have to risk throwing your vote away on a bit of a wild card. The reasons the professional politicians don’t like it, is because the caucus system as someone else pointed out, no longer gets to anoint the extreme lefties or the extreme nightie, and marginalize all us folks in the middle. At last we actually get an opportunity to cast a real ballot, not just chose crazy on the left worn out policies, or crazy on the right worn out policies! I can’t see for the life of me how anyone would say less choices are better, and by the way, let the radicals tell me what the choices are. Dam this is America we should have at least as many choice for politics as we do flavors of Ice Cream!

  14. Submitted by Rick Prescott on 03/15/2018 - 12:09 am.

    Unenlightened Gibberish

    Wow. This development really shows the bare idiocy of some politics. And Sen. Koran, perhaps unwittingly, becomes the poster child for ignorance, fear, intransigence, and preservation of a two-party system that is in the process of devastating our democratic republic.

    Some specific reactions:

    …it seems to have inserted a lot of uncertainty about who is this even for?…

    I suppose that a politician can only see things in political terms. His question, restated: “Does this help my party or the other party?” Apparently, it doesn’t occur to him that the beneficiary is democracy — unspecific as that may sound. RCV sets out to give voters more options, and a more nuanced way to express their preferences. Sen. Koran seems to have sponsored this legislation primarily because he has a hunch that it might help his opponent. And since he doesn’t know for sure, it’s safer for him to oppose it. That’s a really screwed up way to legislate.

    …Does it really provide more choices?…

    Actually, it does. Literally. It allows voters to indicate preferences for up to three candidates, instead of limiting them to one. That’s actually the DEFINITION of providing more choices.

    …Koran doesn’t live in a city with ranked-choice voting currently, but he fears…

    Ah, fear. It seems that fear is the only way that some politicians know to approach a new and unfamiliar idea.

    …he has family members in the city who are frustrated by the system…

    This is interesting. One suspects that his family members voted one way and the election did not go that way. That’s the only reason I can think of why someone would be frustrated with this process. It’s really not very complicated. Or perhaps it was frustrating to have to learn about more candidates. Bother.

    …Every vote should count…

    Every vote does count — very deliberately. This is empty rhetoric at its best.

    …and every vote should be as simple as ‘I picked my top candidate,’…

    Even in an RCV election, you are free to vote this way. There is no requirement that you select more than one candidate. It’s just an option, available to anyone who wants to express such an opinion. If you want to just pick your top candidate, there is no one to stop you.

    …I think it changes the dynamics of, do you win by a second or third chance?…

    It does indeed change the dynamics of an election. It makes races much more competitive — a good thing, UNLESS you are invested in maintaining the status quo. If you want elections to be head-to-head party-against-party, then allowing more choices represents a potential problem. Apparently Sen. Koran thinks his party will not fare as well if voters have more choices. This is hardly guaranteed. Who is to say that some race somewhere won’t hinge on a choice between three top Republicans? It could happen, but that would clearly undermine the party system which generally does that deciding well in advance, protecting the voters from such complexity.

    …It just doesn’t seem natural…

    Funny how whatever we’ve been doing for a long time comes to seem “natural,” and anything new must be viewed, at least at first, as “unnatural.”

    …and we have an established elections process that has worked well for more than 100 years…

    More than 100 years? Sen. Koran has a somewhat short memory. Surely he knows that first-past-the-post voting goes back to the founding of the country, and indeed much further. And, believe it or not, that’s still a pretty TERRIBLE argument for continuing its use.

    I consider the RCV process to have been an incredible success, especially in the most recent election for Minneapolis mayor (and I say that as someone who did not have Jacob Frey in my top three). There is an added level of engagement required, but such nuanced voting has staggering, perhaps even republic-saving possibilities.

    One final thing: I consider the pay raise for legislators to have been long overdue, and I’m happy to pay my share in it — especially if it helps us recruit and elect better thinkers to do our legislating.

  15. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 03/15/2018 - 12:36 pm.

    Civil campaigns

    I think it’s interesting that may people assume that civil campaigns are a good thing and that we should introduce a bias in the system that would favor them.

  16. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/15/2018 - 12:46 pm.

    Representation

    Does Sen. Koran represent the constituents that elected him, or his family that live in other areas? Did anyone who he represents bring this issue to him? Like, “Oh Sen. Koran, I’m really bothered the citizens of another city I don’t live in use RCV so please change it?”

    Why can’t his family members take it up with the politicians who actually represent them?

    This is just weird.

  17. Submitted by Theo Kozel on 03/15/2018 - 01:43 pm.

    Stick to the issue

    Regardless of whether we individually like or dislike RCV, there is no compelling reason for the state to pre-empt local governments from adopting it.

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