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RCV talking points for precinct caucuses

The Minneapolis 2013 city election will be a prime opportunity to showcase Ranked Choice Voting to the rest of the state and country. With your help, we can ensure it goes off without a hitch!

Election season gets underway at precinct caucuses on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. and FairVote Minnesota is organizing to educate and engage caucus-goers about RCV.

Contact us (info@fairvotemn.org) to let us know you can go to your caucus and educate your precinct about RCV! Or just go and share the RCV basics -- here are some key talking points:

RCV TALKING POINTS FOR PRECINCT CAUCUSES

1) Ranked Choice Voting is the way we vote now for local elections in Minneapolis.  It was adopted in 2006 by the voters with DFL endorsement and used for the first time in 2009. This is the first time well be able to use it in an open mayoral race.

2) Thanks to strong voter education in 2009, 95 percent of polled voters said RCV was simple to use and we want to ensure an even greater level of understanding this year. Thats why FairVote MN is out educating voters tonight about RCV.

3) Ranked Choice Voting_

  • Combines two elections in one, so theres no primary this year. Theres just one election in November when turnout is higher and more diverse.
  • Allows voters to rank candidates on the ballot 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rdchoice, etc. Voters rank knowing that if their first choice isnt strong enough to make it through the first round, their ballot can continue to count until one candidate reaches the threshold for winning.
  • Reduces negative campaigning and encourages candidates to reach beyond their base for second-choice votes.
  • Eliminates strategic voting and gets rid of the spoiler and "wasted vote" dynamics.
  • Fosters better representation for all voters.

4) Under RCV, a candidate (in a single-seat race) must receive a majority of votes to win. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the less popular candidates are eliminated (sequentially) and their ballots are reassigned to remaining candidates based on the next choice on those voters ballots. This process continues until one has a majority of continuing ballots, or in the case of multi-seat elections, until all seats are filled.

5) The city is currently replacing its old voting equipment with RCV-capable machines.  Its working toward having the new system in place for this years election, which would eliminate a time-consuming hand count and provide faster results.

6) The ballot design, including number of rankings allowed, will be completed sometime this summer.

7) FairVote MN will partner with the city of Minneapolis and League of Women Voters in providing voter education through Election Day.

8) Here are flyers to take home and for more information about RCV, contact fairvotemn.org.

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