Better Ballot Campaign in the East Side Review

East Side Review

Are we ready to change the way we vote?

Scott Nichols
news editor

Beaumont Street
resident Troy Trooien won't reveal his political leanings, but freely admits to being a "foot soldier" for a Minneapolis group called FairVote Minnesota, an ever-expanding movement to change the way we vote.

FairVote Minnesota activists are pushing for our state and its communties to reconsider a long-standing election method now called "instant runoff voting" or IRV.

In a nutshell, IRV doesn't make voters choose just one candidate for a particular office. Instead, voters get to rank their choices, and candidates with the least number of votes are progressively eliminated in an "instant runoff" until a single candidate emerges with a majority of votes. While it has never gone out of fashion in some European countries, U.S. municipalities are starting to examine IRV methods for their elections.

Locally, Minneapolis voters approved the use of IRV last year by a two-thirds majority, and momentum has begun to swing across the river: RamseyCounty elections manager Joe Mansky will give a presentation on IRV issues and costs to the St. Paul City Council on March 28.

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