A few years ago, New Yorker editor Hendrik Hertzberg wrote of Ranked Choice Voting, The real world, where voting actually occurs, is where [RCV] has proved its mettle. That happened once again in St. Paul last month, when a majority of voters in Ward 2 where a competitive multicandidate race provided the perfect showcase for RCV ranked their ballots with pleasure and ease.
Turnout in that ward was the highest its been in a decade, in stark contrast to nationwide turnout in local elections. A vast majority of voters surveyed by Edison Research said they like RCV, want to keep using it, and would prefer to use it for state and national elections as well.
Ranked Choice Voting is simply the way St. Paulites vote in municipal races now . . . and its helped make local democracy more civil, participatory, representative, and substantive. Ramsey County Election Manager Joe Mansky called 2015 probably the best election in the 14 years that Ive been here. As we bid farewell to 2015, thats worth celebrating. RCV gives voters more power and more choice, and it works beautifully on the ground.
Opponents know this, which is why theyre fighting hard to keep other communities from adopting RCV in the first place. Theyre deeply invested in the status quo, and their efforts to preserve it are growing ever more intense.
So 2016 is guaranteed to be a pivotal year for democracy reform. While Maine voters move boldly toward statewide adoption of RCV, forces of reaction in Minnesota are trying to undo nearly two decades worth of grassroots work and progress.
Were going forward, not back, and we need your help! Your year-end contribution can help ensure the success of the RCV local options bill at the legislature . . . and it can help us move like our friends in Maine toward statewide adoption. Voting reform is essential to combatting the hyperpartisanship, polarization, dysfunction, and cynicism plaguing our politics, and your investment in this movement is crucial.
Lets keep Minnesota at the forefront of democracy reform. Happy New Year, and thanks for all you do to support this critical work we couldnt do it without you!
The FairVote Minnesota team