St. Louis Park takes another step toward RCV
Ranked Choice Voting is on a roll and we’re excited! Voters and leaders in St. Louis Park enthusiastically embraced the proposal to eliminate their low-turnout, high-cost primary at Monday’s City Council member. They also expressed strong positive support for considering changing their electoral system to Ranked Choice Voting.
FairVote Minnesota Executive Director Jeanne Massey was there to share some insights into the experience with implementing RCV in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and observations on its impact. She noted, “RCV has been used for years by voters in a number of U.S. cities, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. Since 2009, more than 215,000 ranked choice ballots have been cast in 54 city races in the Twin Cities. In both Minneapolis and St. Paul, the transition to RCV was smooth and has led to higher turnout and greater voter participation. According to voter surveys, RCV is understood, liked, and preferred over the old voting system.”
More than a dozen residents spoke passionately on behalf of RCV, including resident Doug Johnson: “Over the years the right to vote has expanded. Beyond that, the political diversity of our country has grown. Yet we’ve continued to hang on to the belief that plurality voting is sufficient. Our true political diversity gets masked. Ranked Choice Voting respects all our neighbors and will shine a light on the actual political diversity of our community. And it will give us officials backed by a majority of voters. Ranked Choice Voting is simply more just. Our country needs it, and St. Louis Park needs it.”
Led by Councilmembers Anne Mavity and Susan Sanger, the council called for a study session on Ranked Choice Voting to gather more information and consider RCV as an additional amendment to the city’s charter. If ultimately approved, both changes would go into effect in the next election cycle in 2019.
While voters and leaders in St. Louis Park are enthusiastically looking at RCV and momentum is growing, RCV detractors in St. Paul are continuing to push for repeal. FairVote Minnesota is working tirelessly to ensure the wishes of St. Paul voters are respected. We need your support, both as volunteers and financially, to make sure handful of disgruntled political insiders don't derail RCV in St. Paul.
Give Carrie a birthday gift -- and our board will match it!
Carrie Blakeslee started volunteering with FairVote Minnesota in 2011. As she turns 30 this year – her golden birthday – she is asking friends to donate to her favorite non-profit organizations rather than giving her gifts. FairVote Minnesota is at the top of her list!
“I love democracy,” says Carrie, “and RCV is just one of the ways that I can see a practical change to our current system. The incredible partisanship, ruthless campaigns, and total disassociation of politicians to their constituents fueled my need to educate my neighbors about RCV. Encouraging my friends and neighbors to help support FairVote Minnesota just feels right to me.”
We’re already 20 percent toward our goal of raising $10,000 – please help us reach this goal by Memorial Day! And remember, your donations are currently being matched by board members. If you’re on the fence, remember this bit of wisdom from William James: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
Thank you for all you do to make our democracy work better!