Minneapolis Candidates Report Positive Impact of Ranked-Choice Voting Process

November 09, 2017 07:00 PM

Several candidates in Minneapolis mayoral, city council and park board races had very positive things to say about the ranked-choice voting process in the city.

This is the third year Minneapolis has used ranked-choice voting to determine winners in city races. Voters could pick up to three candidates in the mayoral, city council and park board races.


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FairVote Minnesota, a nonprofit that advocates for ranked choice voting, says it saw very positive outcomes from Tuesday's election, including higher voter turnout, a record number of early voting ballots and a more robust campaign focusing on in-depth issues. The group adds a majority of voters understood how the ranked choice voting process worked. Anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of voters ranked candidates in the races they voted on.

Several candidates in Minneapolis agreed that it changed the way they ran their campaigns. They say they were able to engage more with voters, even ones who didn't plan to vote for them as their first choice. It also encouraged voters to think more about who they were voting for, and not just pick a candidate based on party affiliation.

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FairVote Minnesota also reports it took much less time to determine winners in the various Minneapolis races. Jacob Frey was declared the winner in the Minneapolis mayoral race by Wednesday afternoon. In 2013, it took until late Thursday night to declare Betsy Hodges the winner in the mayor's race. 

In St. Paul, the results came in even faster because Melvin Carter received more than 50 percent of the vote following the first round of voting tabulations. Officials say if second or third choices need to be counted in the next election, it should take much less time to determine a winner. 


Amanda Theisen

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