I'm writing with shocking and distressing news: a few state legislators are attempting to trample all over local electoral control and cities’ choice to use Ranked Choice Voting. Reps. Cindy Pugh, Linda Runbeck, Tim O’Driscoll and Michael Nelson (Rep. Rena Moran has removed her name) introduced a bill yesterday afternoon that would repeal Ranked Choice Voting in St. Paul and Minneapolis, and prohibit any other jurisdiction in Minnesota from adopting it.
In other words, this bill will make RCV and local control illegal in Minnesota.
If you live in any of the districts represented by these legislators, please contact your legislator immediately to urge him or her to drop their support of this unprecedented bill:
Rep. Cindy Pugh (R-33B)
Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-38A)
Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-13B)
Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-40A)
And no matter where you live in Minnesota, contact these legislators, let them know they cannot take your rights away and demand that they withdraw this bill! And don’t stop there: demand they support local control by supporting the RCV Local Options bill – H.F. 2322; S.F. 2071 – which would give all local jurisdictions the freedom to decide how they conduct their own elections (Click here to find your legislator).
All of these legislators have advocated for local control, but now they want to not only prohibit local jurisdictions from adopting RCV, they want to reverse the decision by Minneapolis and St. Paul voters to decide their own election system.
At a time when voters want – and increasingly are demanding – more political power, RCV is exactly the voting system needed to give voice to all voters and lift the voices of those who historically have been marginalized. Shame on any legislator who wants to dismantle voting rights — and to preempt local communities from defending them.
Minneapolis and St. Paul made history last November in running RCV elections that resulted in 20-year high turnouts, the most diverse slate of candidates the two cities have ever seen, the first African American mayor in St. Paul and the most ethnically diverse city council ever in Minneapolis.
But more importantly, RCV is what the voters of Minneapolis and St. Paul decided by referendum. Never before in Minnesota history has the legislature attempted to invalidate the vote of the people.
The idea that some lawmakers want to roll back the voice of the people is not only outrageous, it sets a dangerous precedent.
Please act urgently and send a strong message to the authors of this bill and to your personal legislators not to mess with community control over their own destiny.
Thank you for your quick action! A hearing could be held as early as tomorrow and we want to make sure that this bill dies in its undemocratic tracks. I will be in touch with critical details if the hearing is open to the public. In the meantime, please email me if you have any questions.
Executive Director, FairVote Minnesota