Though RCV Support Grows at Capitol, Bill on Hold until Next Year
Its been an incredible few months for Ranked Choice Voting at the state legislature, with our local options bill (S.F. 335; H.F. 367) passing out of committees in both chambers with strong and growing support. Thats largely thanks to the phone calls, emails and face-to-face advocacy of democracy champions like you!
No question about itits a historic time for voting reform in Minnesota. While we ultimately made a strategic decision not to push for the bills inclusion in the House and Senate omnibus bills, concerned it would end up a casualty of partisan battles (unrelated to RCV), support for Minnesota cities ability to use RCV is at an all-time high among lawmakers. Despite loud but easily debunked antireform arguments from a few well-funded proponents of the old system, were on a steady upward trajectory.
"A growing number of my colleagues agree that local communities ought to have the freedom, flexibility, and tools to innovate in how they conduct local elections, said Rep. Steve Simon, the bills chief House author and chair of the House Elections Committee. The state shouldnt be standing in the way of that.
RCVs case will be further bolstered this fall with the competitive, multicandidate Minneapolis mayoral race and several exciting city council races. The 2013 elections will truly give Ranked Choice Voting a chance to shine . . . in fact, its already having a positive impact, with several candidates publicly noting its built-in incentive to run civil, issue-based campaigns.
Sen. Ann Rest, the chief Senate author, struck an optimistic note about its chances for next year. This is truly a common-sense measure with the potential to save local governments money and yield better results for voters, Rest said. Its just a matter of time.
The movement for RCV remains in high gearand your continued engagement is critical! Please thank Sen. Rest and Rep. Simon for their leadership and continue to talk to your legislators about RCV and secure their support for local control!
Statewide and national media will be watching the Minneapolis elections this year; you can also help us shine the spotlight on RCVs positive role in them. Lets show the rest of the country that Minnesota is a hotbed of smart, innovative, far-reaching political reform and push RCV over the finish line at the Capitol next year!
RCV Takes Center Stage in 2013 Minneapolis Elections
With a wide-open mayoral contest with numerous credible candidates, plus two dozen other city races, this years municipal elections in Minneapolis offer the perfect showcase for Ranked Choice Voting. As with the RCV rollout in 2009, FairVote Minnesota will be on the front lines, collaborating with the city and civic, business, faith, social service and neighborhood organizations to provide voter and candidate education. And while our efforts four years ago helped ensure a smooth, successful implementationwith 95 percent of voters reporting ease of use and only one single, solitary spoiled ballot out of some 46,000 castwere aiming to do even better this year. We need your help, democracy champions! Please sign up to volunteer and if you can't contribute time, please make a donation -- in any amount -- to support our efforts!
It All Starts on Caucus Night, April 16
The excitement starts on caucus night: Tuesday, April 16. If youre a Minneapolis voter, were counting on YOU to attend your caucus and to help educate your neighbors about RCV! Were seeking caucus attendees to hand out flyers and give a brief overview of Ranked Choice Votingand, if possible, to volunteer to attend the ward and citywide conventions. (We eagerly welcome lit-distribution help from non-Minneapolis residents, too!)
Next up will be DFL ward conventions, which take place throughout April and May, followed by the citywide DFL convention on Saturday, June 15. Well need help from convention participants, as well as supporters who don't sign up to be delegates (if you live outside of Minneapolis, were able and happy to work with whatever availability you have). Talking with other engaged citizens about the many benefits of RCV is easy, fun and rewardingplease let us know when and where you can be a part of the action: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll find a way you can help given your schedule.
Thank you for all you do for a better democracy!