FairVote MN Offering RCV Education at Minneapolis Precinct Caucuses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2013
Contact: Jeanne Massey, FairVote MN executive director
MINNEAPOLIS As the City of Lakes prepares for its first wide-open mayoral race using Ranked Choice Voting, FairVote Minnesota stands ready to help educate voters and candidates about RCV.
FairVote Minnesota staff and volunteers will visit DFL precinct caucuses across Minneapolis tonight, sharing informational flyers and answering questions about RCV. Under Ranked Voting, instead of voting for just one candidate, voters rank their preferences first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. Voters can rank as many candidates as they prefer, but may rank only one candidate if they wish.
The ballots are counted in rounds. In each round, the candidate receiving the fewest votes is eliminated and votes for that candidate are reassigned to remaining candidates based on the next preference on those voters ballots. In a single-seat race, this process continues until one candidate receives a majority of continuing ballots.
RCV fosters wider participation by eliminating the need for a primary and combining the primary and general election into a single high-turnout November election. Typically, primaries attract low turnout and yield unrepresentative results.
Minneapolis voters approved the use of RCV for municipal elections in 2006, and first used the new system in 2009. The rollout was remarkably smooth, with 95 percent of voters polled finding Ranked Choice Voting simple to use.
With three-term Mayor R.T. Rybak not running for reelection and a large slate of would-be successors, RCV faces a bigger test this fall. The ability to rank candidates may also come into play in several city council races with multiple contenders. FairVote Minnesota is committed to working with the city of Minneapolis to ensure a voting experience thats as good asor better thanthe 2009 election. The nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group will be conducting education and outreach efforts across the city between now and Election Day.
RCV has also been shown to heighten civility and promote issue-based campaigning. Candidates are discouraged from engaging in negative attack campaigning, since they may need some votes from opponents supporters to win. Many observers have already noticed a generally positive tone in this years mayoral race.
For more information about Ranked Choice Voting, or to speak with FairVote Minnesota executive director Jeanne Massey about tonights outreach at DFL precinct caucuses in Minneapolis, call 612-850-6897.