News

RCV by the numbers: St. Paul: Ward 2, 2015

RANKED CHOICE VOTING BY THE NUMBERS

ST. PAUL: WARD 2, 2015

Summary

  • 83 % of voters who found RCV simple to use
  • 73 % of voters who ranked their ballots
  • 70 % of voters who like and want to continue using RCV in St. Paul

Turnout was up with RCV

While voter participation trends down across the nation, a competitive race under RCV helps reverse this. Turnout for the Ward 2 city council race was 5,738 -- 6% higher than in 2011, and the Wards highest turnout for a municipal election in a decade.

Vast Majority Chose to Rank

Voters demonstrated a deep and thorough understanding of Ranked Choice Voting: 73% of voters ranked at least 2 choices.

RCV was Easy for Voters

83% of polled voters found RCV simple to use, according to an exit poll conducted by Edison Research. This is up from 72% in the Ward 1 special election for city council in 2013, suggesting that voters' understanding of RCV continues to grow.

RCV is Now Familiar to Voters

Voters came to the polls on Election Day ready to rank their vote. An impressive 82% said they were very or somewhat familiar with RCV before going to the polls, demonstrating the importance and success of the outreach and education efforts undertaken by FairVote Minnesota in partnership with the community organizations and the Ramsey County Elections to prepare voters for Election Day.

This prior familiarity with RCV was remarkably consistent across different levels of income, age and education. This counters the argument from critics that RCV might be too much for voters to understand: 80% of voters 65 and older, 70% of people earning under $50,000 a year, and 72% of individuals without a college degree all indicated very or some prior familiarity.

Voters Want to Keep RCV

Last, but not least, voters liked RCV: Nearly three fourths (70 %) of all Saint Paul Ward 2 voters want to continue to use RCV in future municipal elections and 60% want to use it in future state elections. This is again consistent across a wide range of St. Paulites: 67% of voters earning under $50,000 per year, 59% of those without a college degree and 58% of voters 65 and over want to keep using RCV for their city elections.

Prepared by FairVote Minnesota Foundation, December, 2015 / Sources: Ramsey County Election Data and Edison Research

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