FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeanne Massey, Executive Director, FairVote Minnesota; 612-850-6897, email@example.com
St. Paul DFL Endorses Ranked Choice Voting, Emphatically Resisting Repeal Effort
ST. PAUL—June 26, 2017—The St. Paul DFL has joined the Minnesota DFL in standing united behind Ranked Choice Voting. Party delegates voted overwhelmingly (66 percent) in support of a resolution favoring Ranked Choice Voting at the City DFL Convention on June 17. The move was a clear indication that the St. Paul DFL will resist any attempted repeal of the system that was popularly adopted by St. Paul voters in 2009.
“FairVote Minnesota applauds the St. Paul DFL for its unequivocal statement of support for Ranked Choice Voting,” said FairVote Minnesota board member and St. Paul DFL Treasurer Adam Vetvick. “This is good news for St. Paul voters who clearly prefer Ranked Choice Voting and are looking forward to using it in the city’s first open mayoral race in 12 years this November.”
The St. Paul DFL support for a pro-RCV resolution aligns with the state party’s Ongoing Party platform, which advocates for the use of RCV in local and state elections in Minnesota.
Ellen Brown, chair of the former St. Paul Better Ballot Campaign, commented: “DFL support for RCV is strong, which passage of the resolution makes clear. Our goal is to increase voter participation and ensure that all voters feel their voices are heard. Ranked Choice Voting is the best mechanism for that goal."
In 2017, St. Paul and Minneapolis voters will enjoy the benefits of RCV during high-profile races for mayor and city council. Thanks to RCV, voters will have more – and more diverse – choices on the ballot and experience a campaign season that’s more civil and focused on who has the best vision for the future,” she added.
The St. Paul DFL resolution also builds on the RCV momentum in St. Louis Park and other Minnesota cities. The mayor and city council in St. Louis Park are currently considering switching to RCV after a recent decision to eliminate the city’s poorly attended August primary.
“Voters who have had the opportunity to use RCV know its power to transform elections for the better and would like to see RCV used for state level elections as well,” added St. Paul DFL’s Vetvick.
The passage of the St. Paul DFL resolution coincides with the resignation of Chuck Repke from the St. Paul Charter Commission. Repke sought to repeal RCV in St. Paul by placing a measure on the ballot this fall for voters to consider. The Charter Commission has failed to meet in a timely fashion to advance any such proposal, leading Repke to step down. His resignation signals the end of the effort to repeal RCV in St. Paul, at least in the immediate future.
“While RCV is easy to use, we look forward to teaming with the St. Paul DFL to ensure voters are ready to use RCV in November, which will be the first test of RCV citywide in an open mayoral race," Vetvick said.
At the local level, RCV consolidates the nonpartisan primary and general election into a single general election, when turnout is higher and more diverse. It reduces the cost of elections for taxpayers and candidates, produces winners with broad popular support, discourages negative campaigning and promotes issue-based debates by providing a real incentive for candidates to appeal to voters for second-place votes.
Polls show that voters find RCV simple to use, that they prefer it over the old two-round system, and would like to see it expanded in Minnesota.