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D?j? Vu: Low Turnout, Plurality Outcomes Likely in Primary

Dj Vu: Low Turnout, Plurality Outcomes Likely in Primary

Tomorrow Republican voters go to the polls to choose a gubernatorial candidateand with four candidates battling it out, the odds of a majority winner emerging to represent the party in November against DFL Gov. Mark Dayton appear slim.

Tuesdays primary will feature former state lawmaker and current Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who has the party endorsement; Wayzata businessman Scott Honour; former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert; and state Rep. Kurt Zellers. Without Ranked Choice Voting, consensus could be hard to come by: a plurality outcomealong with low voter turnoutseems guaranteed.

Its a similar story in the U.S. Senate race, with four Republicans, including investment banker and GOP endorsee Mike McFadden and state Rep. Jim Abeler, vying to unseat DFL Sen. Al Franken.

Several legislators face competitive party primary challenges, including Republican Rep. Jennifer Loon in 48B (Eden Prairie) by Sheila Kihne and Democratic Rep. Phyllis Kahn in 60B (Minneapolis) by Mohamud Noor.

In these races and others, some perennial themesthe outsize influence of money, the extremism endemic to party primaries, the pervasiveness of negative campaigningloom large. RCV wouldnt singlehandedly solve these problems, but it would surely mitigate them.

As Mike Griffin wrote in a recent Minnesota Daily editorial, [b]ecause of the winner-take-all model of the current system, candidates and their supporters have a strong incentive to use a negative campaign to edge out their opponent. . . . RCV opens the process to more candidates and forces the candidates to compete for second- and third-choice votes, encouraging them to seek support from a diverse coalition of voters and avoid negative political attacks.

These primaries underline just how essential your work and ours for a smarter, fairer, more representative democracy truly is. Can you invest today in bringing positive, meaningful, structural change to Minnesota politics? FairVote Minnesota, Minnesotas hardest working public interest group, is making big strides on a tight budget. A donation in amount$25, $50 or $100helps sustain and grow our efforts!

Rank Your Vote-Duluth Team Launches Grassroots Campaign

Congratulations to the citizen leaders, community advocates, elected officials and other civic-minded Northlanders whove launched the grassroots, citywide Ranked Choice Voting education campaign in Duluth!

The coalitions effort, called Rank Your Vote-Duluth, will build awareness, understanding and engagement toward bringing RCV up for voter consideration next year.

While supported by FairVote Minnesota, Rank Your Vote-Duluth is a homegrown endeavor. Coalition leaders include city councilors Emily Larson and Linda Krug, former councilor Donn Larson, political and labor activist Pete Johnson, retired physician and community leader Bob Wahman, MPIRG-Duluth leader Steve Wick, womens advocate Liz Johnson, community leader Henry Helgen, MAPL director Wy Spano, among others. Dakotah Johnson is coordinating the effort.

To learn more or to get involved in improving Duluth democracy, contact Dakotah Johnson: dakotah.johnson@fairvotemn.org or 715-379-2541.

Support and follow on facebook and twitter!

Rating Beers, Ranking Votes: Partygoers Have a Blast at In Cahoots!

Huge thanks to everyone who joined us Aug. 3 for Red Stags block party, In Cahoots! Over 2,000 people came to sample new beers, enjoy live music, and practice Ranked Choice Voting by electing their favorite beer.

Eight breweries collaborated in groups of two to create four brand new, never-before-tasted libations especially for this event.

The beers13th Task by Fulton and Dangerous Man; Mark by Bang and Summit; Burnout Smoked Apple by Schells and Sociable Cider Werks; and Red Smoke Rye by Fitgers and Bent Paddleall proved enormously popular as nearly 1,400 people ranked their votes for their favorites. It was a close match, but in the third round of counting, 13th Task came out on top as the best new brew in Minnesota.  Congratulations to Fulton and Dangerous Manand to all the masterful brewers who took part and shared their delicious inventions with festivalgoers!

As one attendee said, Ranked Choice Voting is pretty awesome. It allows for greater accuracy in capturing peoples preferences. Cheers to the Red Stag, Growler Magazine, and the many volunteers who helped make this event a resounding success!

Minneapolis Voters Urged to Approve Filing Fee Hike

A proposal to raise the candidate filing fees for city offices has been approved by the Minneapolis Charter Commission and will go before Minneapolis voters this November. The ballot language reads:

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to increase the filing fees for candidates seeking City elected offices from the current fee of $20 for each office to $500 for the office of Mayor, $250 for the office of Council Member, $100 for the office of  Board of Estimate and Taxation Member, and $100 for the office of Park & Recreation Commissioner and, as an alternative to payment of a filing fee, allow a candidate to submit a petition of voter signatures as provided in state law?

FairVote Minnesota urges Minneapolis voters to approve the change when they cast their votes in the fall. Increasing the current, nominal across-the-board $20 fee, established decades ago,or requiring candidates to collect a minimum number of signatures in lieu of a feewould help ensure that candidates for municipal office intend to mount a serious campaign.

Ranked Choice Voting Is a Hit on Buzzfeed!

If you follow us on Facebook and Twitter, you might have seen this great Buzzfeed list making the rounds on social media: 7 Reasons Ranked Choice Voting is the Best Thing Youve Never Heard Of. Of course, we know that as a friend of FairVote Minnesota YOU know all about RCV and its ability to transform democracy for the betterbut we need your help telling the rest of the country why its such a smart political innovation! Please post and share the Buzzfeed list with friends.

As always, thanks for all you do to improve democracy!

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