The cost and unnecessary burden of a recount in our recent municipal primaries is a wakeup call to Rochester voters. Two city council races were eligible for publicly funded recounts. In Ward 5, where I live, there was a recount to determine who would be the second-place finisher. Same thing in Ward 1.
There’s a much better way to elect leaders that doesn’t result in expensive primary recounts — Ranked Choice Voting. With RCV, these recounts would not have been necessary. RCV eliminates the need for low-turnout primaries in local races for city council and mayor. While turnout at the primaries was unusually high this year, it was still just 30 percent of all Rochester voters. The council and mayoral candidates wouldn’t have had to run primary election campaigns during the summer months when most voters are not engaged. Instead, they would have all been able to compete in the November general election when voter turnout is much higher.
There is an effort underway to adopt RCV in Rochester. I urge all the candidates running for city council and mayor to support this effort. The blueprint and equipment for implementing RCV is already up and running in Minneapolis and St. Paul. I hope we will adopt RCV in time for our next elections in 2020, helping to make our local democracy stronger.
Anna Froehling, Rochester