Our Story

Our Story

Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” That philosophy fueled the birth of FairVote Minnesota and today, we’re on the forefront of the nationwide effort to advance Ranked Choice Voting.
 
We helped bring Ranked Choice Voting to Minneapolis and St. Paul and collaborated with local election officials and nonprofit partners to ensure its successful rollout in the Twin Cities. The success of RCV here and in cities and states across the country are paving the way for other communities in Minnesota and other states to follow. 
 

Major Activities and Accomplishments

 

2016

  • Surpassed more than 20,000 signed supporters of RCV.
  • Maine passes Ranked Choice Voting statewide!
  • Held our first annual Best of the Wurst festival to educate voters about RCV – while having a lot of fun!

2015

  • Ranked Choice Voting Local Options bill gains bipartisan backing in Minnesota legislature.
  • St. Paul’s third RCV election with competitive Ward 2 race was wildly successful. 

2014

  • Provided strategic options for Ranked Choice Voting discussions in Duluth, Rochester, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park.
  • Shared Minneapolis’s RCV success story at nationwide conferences including the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the VoteRunLead National Go Run training, and Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law.

2013

  • Acted as lead organizer to voters using RCV in the first open mayoral race in Minneapolis; an overwhelming majority of voters remarked favorably about its ease and benefits.
  • Minneapolis acquired new RCV-capable equipment.

2012

  • Ranked Choice Voting resolutions passed in DFL and Republican precincts across Minnesota.
  • DFL endorsement renewed.

2011

  • Ranked Choice Voting implemented in St. Paul.

2010

  • FairVote Minnesota has its first booth at the Minnesota State Fair, now a popular tradition.

2009

  • Successfully advocated for the timely implementation of Ranked Choice Voting in Minneapolis.
  • Intervened in the lawsuit against RCV in the City of Minneapolis, which was decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court in June 2009. The Court issued a unanimous ruling upholding the constitutionality of RCV.
  • November 3: Ranked Choice Voting passes in St. Paul!

2008

  • Helped launch campaign for RCV in St. Paul.
  • Ranked Choice Voting endorsed by Minnesota DFL, following endorsements by Independence Party and Green Party.

2007

  • New 501(c)4 status allows FVM to advocate for Ranked Choice Voting in local communities and at the Minnesota State Legislature.
  • Hosted “A Vote is a Terrible Thing to Waste” conference.

2006

  • Lead partner of the successful Minneapolis Better Ballot Campaign.
  • November 7: Ranked Choice Voting passes in Minneapolis by a margin of 2 to 1!

2005

  • Helped launch the campaign for RCV in Minneapolis.

2004

  • Spurred charter amendment initiative in Hopkins.
  • Served as lead resource in the League of Women Voters – Minnesota Alternative Voting Study, which endorsed Ranked Choice Voting.
  • RCV adopted in San Francisco.
  • Organized the grassroots response to the Help America Vote Act. The majority of public comments on the Minnesota HAVA plan called on the state to make sure new voting equipment was upgraded to process the ballot types used in advanced voting methods.

2002

  • Researched and wrote “Municipal Voting System Reform,” published in Bench & Bar of Minnesota. It established the legal basis for adoption of alternative voting methods by home rule cities, an important tool for activists working to change their city’s voting methods.

2001

  • Led the effort at the Minnesota State Legislature to allow Roseville to use RCV in a one-time pilot project for a special election. The legislation passed the Senate and received a floor vote in the House, advancing further than previous political reform efforts with much greater funding.

2000

  • Researched, wrote, and published “No-Contest Elections,” a groundbreaking report on the lack of real contests in most state legislative races. It introduced “competitiveness” as a criterion in redistricting.

1998

  • Cosponsored “Empowering the Voter,” a Midwest regional conference with national leaders in election reform held in November.

1996

  • A group of politically diverse individuals began sharing a vision for a better democracy. This group collaboratively examined alternative voting methods and concluded that Ranked Choice Voting was a structural change that could make a fundamental difference in the quality of democracy. FairVote Minnesota was born as a grassroots network of about 20 active volunteers.

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