News

Senator Dave Durenberger: Ranked-choice voting selects best candidates

Dave Durenberger l Duluth News Tribune l Oct. 27, 2015 

I applaud the News Tribune editorial board for examining the value of ranked-choice voting to Duluth voters. But I strongly disagreed with the Oct. 21 editorial that ranked-choice voting complicates elections _ leaves clouds of doubt _ and addresses elections-related problems that simply dont exist in Duluth (Our View: No to ranked-choice; just what would it fix?).

Similar arguments were made in Minneapolis and St. Paul and were proved wrong. We are all Minnesotans with an equal commitment to the vote as a precious right. That makes every voter equal.

Whats the problem? How will changing a voting system impact local government? The answers are simple. Whether as a candidate or voter, I want every person eligible to run for the City Council in Duluth to have an equal chance to win the vote of every other person in the city willing to cast a vote. Thats it.

Yes, give everyone not just the person endorsed by one party or one union or one association that happens to hold some power a chance to serve by presenting her experience, qualifications and promises to every voter in a single, decisive election.

Why have two elections when one will do? Ranked-choice voting allows every voter to express preferences and have every one of those votes count in the election with the greatest voter participation. In a DFL city like St. Paul, I have several choices and can express my preferences for those I believe are most qualified, not those who came out of a primary serving some partisan or other special interest.

It takes some effort by me, and all voters, to determine voting preferences. But, darn it, dont we all want the very best people in our community serving us? And shouldnt we expect all our neighbors to help us determine and then live with who those people are?

Dave Durenberger

St. Paul

The writer is a former Republican member of the U.S. Senate.

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