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Star Tribune: Several Minneapolis mayoral candidates endorse ranked-choice voting

Star Tribune l October 4, 2013

These Minneapolis candidates are on board: Mark Andrew, Jackie Cherryhomes, Dan Cohen, Bob Fine, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels, Cam Winton and Stephanie Woodruff.

Minneapolis is a wonderful place to live on this, we all agree. (Indeed, its one of the main reasons were all seeking the privilege of being your next mayor!) We have beautiful parks, friendly residents and welcoming neighborhoods. Our city is full of hardworking, civically engaged citizens.

We might all have different ideas about how to keep moving Minneapolis forward, but we all benefit from the opportunity to share our ideas in a strong, accessible democracy. Voters should have more freedom and choices, and every voter deserves an equal voice in our elections.

Thats why were all proud to see our city leading the way by using ranked-choice voting.

RCV is a smarter election system that respects your choices as a voter. It gives you the opportunity to rank your choices first, second and third and eliminates the possibility of ever feeling like your vote is wasted. It helps ensure that every voice matters and every vote counts.

Elections, unfortunately, are expensive. But by eliminating the costly and exclusionary primary, RCV saves our city precious money and resources. By combining two elections into one, RCV saves you time and ensures the taxpayers are burdened with the cost of only one election. And it means voters need only make one trip to the polls.

Ranked-choice voting is meant to discourage negative campaigning and encourage a more civil, issue-based debate. Please hold us to high standards. Minnesotans are better than baseless attack ads and mudslinging. By bringing in more voices and encouraging diverse representation, RCV gives you the best opportunity to hear from all of us and to make your choices accordingly.

We all want you to rank us first, of course. But in years past, thats all we could ask for. There was no second- or third-place choice, and no matter how you felt about the candidates, you had to pick just one. Now, you finally have a choice and choice means power.

We dont all agree on everything, and you may not agree 100 percent with any of us, either. Thats OK. Diversity of thought is what makes our democracy strong, and its why RCV is so important. As a Minneapolis voter, you hold the power in this election cycle. Well keep campaigning and trying to win your No. 1 ranking, but remember: You have choices this time around.

Dont forget to rank your vote on Nov. 5.

This commentary was signed by Minneapolis mayoral candidates Mark Andrew, Jackie Cherryhomes, Dan Cohen, Bob Fine, Betsy Hodges, Don Samuels, Cam Winton and Stephanie Woodruff.

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