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FairVote Minnesota Mourns Loss of Glen Nelson

All of us at FairVote Minnesota are grieving the loss of physician, health care visionary, philanthropist, and Ranked Choice Voting champion Glen Nelson, who died May 14 at age 79.

Dr. Nelson, who served as vice chairman of Medtronic from 1986 to 2003, was an innovator at heart both in medical technology and in participatory democracy. He was an early and staunch advocate of RCV, which he believed could restore health to our body politic, and he brought a scientists reason and logic to making his case.

In a 2013 op-ed for MinnPost, Nelson wrote, In an ideal world, elected officials would use judgment instead of ideology as they serve their constituents. Individuals, even the most rational and informed among us, sometimes make reactive choices that provide short-term benefits but at the cost of long-term harm to their health or their finances. The challenge in medicine and in politics is to align short- and long-term interests so that choices provide both immediate and lasting benefits.

My prescription for Minnesotas (and the countrys) electoral health would read, Adopt Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). Take once every election.  

Our hearts go out to Nelsons widow, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, as well as his daughters, son, grandchildren, and extended family. Were so grateful for his efforts on behalf of a better democracy his memory will continue to inspire us in our work.

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