Following the divisive 2016 elections, the success of Ranked Choice Voting in the Twin Cities and in cities across the country, and with Maine adopting RCV statewide, the demand for RCV was stronger than ever in 2017. To prepare for expanding RCV locally and statewide, we invested in redesigning our website, database, and engagement tools. No doubt, our new information infrastructure was a crucial linchpin in the success of RCV in the 2017 elections in the Twin Cities!
We successfully introduced a bi-partisan local options bill (S.F. 2017; H.F. 2322), sponsored by Senators Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) and Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope), and Representatives Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) and Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan). The bill frees local statutory jurisdictions (including cities, townships, counties, and school districts) to use Ranked Choice Voting if they choose, and we hope – with your help – to push its passage in 2018.
Between our staff and volunteers, FairVote Minnesota had a robust presence at the 2017 caucuses and conventions, educating political activists in Minneapolis and Saint Paul about RCV. We attended several precinct caucuses and were at each ward convention. In Minneapolis Ward 4, convention goers were able to use an RCV ballot to vote for their endorsement. In Saint Paul, RCV delegates passed resolutions of support in 38 precincts, defending against the effort to repeal RCV this year.
We collaborated with Wellstone Action to host the first-ever RCV candidate training program for those running in the Twin Cities races, focusing on how to change the campaign culture and build winning coalitions under RCV — the campaigns went on to showcase their new skills in the elections.
June | July
The #RankYourVote team could be found at more than 300 picnics, parades, farmer’s markets and numerous other community gatherings in July and all summer-fall long. During the course of 2017, we presented to more than 16,000 Minneapolis and Saint Paul voters, held nearly 26,000 one-on-one conversations, and reached more than 42,000 people with information about how RCV works and why it results in more representative elections.
Our community outreach continued with a strong presence during National Night Out across the metro area and at the Minnesota State Fair, where we talked to more than 2,500 fairgoers about electoral reform. We also supported Saint Louis Park residents interested in bringing RCV to their city, including co-hosting a Rank Your Brew event. Secretary of State Steve Simon spoke at the Steel Toe brewery event, along with leaders from with the League of Women Voters, to educate Saint Louis Parkers about RCV.
Our second annual "Best of the Wurst" event brought together some of our very favorite things: RCV fans, savory sausages from top Twin Cities restaurants, crisp cider and craft beer, Tane Danger and Theater for Public Policy, and discussions of election reform with Ranked Choice Voting. Thanks again to our co-host Sociable CiderWerks and FVMN board member Jim Watkins – and everyone else who made BoW 2017 an event to remember!
We attended 100 education events in October alone. From candidate forums to community events, wherever there was elections talk, FairVote Minnesota was there to help prepare voters to rank their vote.
Celebrating 2017 with our RCV volunteers and champions, we finished the year with grateful hearts and renewed fire in our bellies! Let’s continue our collective push to make democracy work better for everyone in 2018 and beyond!