To the Editor:
I am one of many voters in St. Louis Park hoping that ranked-choice voting is soon adopted as our new voting system. There are many reasons to like ranked-choice voting, but for me, it comes down to making sure that our leaders have majority support. I’m concerned about how crazy elections have become, often with a tiny minority choosing leaders for the majority. This is not how our democracy is supposed to work!
Ranked-choice voting eliminates the need for high-cost, low-turnout, unrepresentative primaries, bringing together the most voters with the most candidates in a single, decisive election in November when turnout is highest and most diverse.
The numbers tell the story most clearly. Voter turnout for primaries averages only 6 percent (and frequently less), while general election turnout is three to four times higher. Low turnout primaries tend to attract a homogeneous group of voters (whiter, older and more affluent than the average voters), meaning our entire community is not always represented when our leaders are selected.
The 2017 elections in Minneapolis and St. Paul showed the power of ranked-choice voting to boost voter turnout (43 percent in Minneapolis), foster more diverse candidate pools and winners, make campaigns more civil and give voters more choice and more power over their democracy. St. Louis Park deserves the same!
One reason I love St. Louis Park is the diversity of our community.
Ranked-choice voting would make it easier for our representatives to reflect our growing diversity and for everyone to participate in elections. As a leading city in Minnesota, we should do everything possible to improve participation and fair representation of all our residents.
Please join me in urging the St. Louis Park commissioners and city council to adopt ranked-choice voting in time for our next city election.
Lesa A Tieszen
St. Louis Park