Update: March 28, 2017
The fight to preserve Ranked Choice Voting in St. Paul continues, and your help is crucial. A very small groupo of political insiders in St. Paul led by Charter Commission member Chuck Repke, is attempting to push a proposal through the Charter Commission to that would put a question before the voters this year to repeal and replace Ranked Choice Voting. What would they replace it with? The old low-turnout, unrepresentative primary system the voters said no more to in 2009!
At the March 27, 2017, Charter Commission Review Committtee meeting, the Committee voted to pass the issue back to the whole Commission without comment or recommendation. There is not yet a formal charter amendment proposal nor a date set for the Charter Commission to meet.
How you can help:
We will let you know when and if another meeting of the Charter Commission is scheduled. Meanwhile, please:
1. Continue to email and call the Charter Commission meetings and tell them:
- Ranked Choice Voting is working in St. Paul (see letter from Ellen Brown). This is the first year RCV will be used citywide in an open mayoral race. We need to give it a chance and evaluate it after hte elction is over, not while it's happening. It will be a huge disservice to voters to confuse a ballot measure against RCV while needing to understand how to use it in the November election.
- Commission member Chuck Repke, who is leading the repeal effort, campaigned against the adoption of RCV in 2009, and he is still at it. It doesn't matter how well or not RCV has worked, he is manuevering to repeal it regardless. And he is attempting to accomplish this goal through the Charter Commission. But the Charter Commission didn't put RCV on the ballot in 2009 and it shouldn't thwart the will of the voters by putting a question on the ballot to take it away. If RCV opponents want to repeal and replace RCV, tell them they will need to go out and collect the 7,011 signatures needed to put a question on the ballot -- the same way RCV was put on the ballot in 2009.
2. Use social media to communicate about this critical issue. Use the hashtags #SaveRCV and #ResistTheRepeal to spread the word. Follow us @fairvotemn to join the conversation.
3. Reach out to elected officials. It’s crucial that all St. Paul council members, mayor, and mayoral candidates help put the brakes on this anti-democratic move. Several, but not all, have voiced support for RCV, and they all need to know how important this issue is to St. Paul voters. Contact them and urge them to tell the Charter Commission to “Stop the effort to repeal RCV in St. Paul!”
4. Apply to become a Charter Commission member to protect RCV, not just against this immediate threat, but also for the long term. Click here to apply.
What’s at stake:
If RCV opponents succeed, a repeal measure will appear on the ballot at the same time that St. Paul voters use RCV for the first time in an open mayoral contest. This unwarranted RCV challenge would be a huge disservice to St. Paul voters and impact their ability to use the relatively new system. It would also give opponents the opporutnity to run a very negative, misinformation campaign against RCV.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to making our democracy stronger! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.