There's a better way to conduct elections: bring Ranked Choice Voting to St. Louis Park!
Why is Ranked Choice Voting right for St. Louis Park?
In June 2017, the St. Louis Park City Council voted unanimously to eliminate the city's costly, low turnout municipal primary. In only eliminating the primary and not providing for some way to conduct a runoff, the city created a problem. Now, winners in November can fall far short of receiving a majority of voter support. Ranked Choice Voting would fix this problem by allowing voters to rank their preferences on the ballot and conducting an "instant runoff" if no candidate received a majority of first-choice votes.
Under RCV, if no candidate reaches the majority threshold in the initial round, the candidate with the least support is eliminated and ballots for that candidate are reallocated to remaining candidates based on the second preferences on those ballots. This process is repeated until one candidate reaches the winning threshold.
The 2017 Ward 1 council race was a good case in point. While this race had a primary this year, in future years, it will not and the winning candidate in competitive races like this will not secure the support from a majority of voters as it would under the traditional primary-general election system. RCV ensures candidates with the most popular support win -- and in a single decisive election in November when the turnout is highest and most diverse.
Ranked Choice Voting also:
- Gives voters more choice
- Increases voter participation
- Fosters more diverse candidates
- Prevents spoilers and wasted votes
- Promotes positive campaigning
- Reduces the role of money in campaigns
RCV was hugely successful again this year in Minneapolis and St. Paul where voters overwhelmingly understand it and prefer it over the old two-round system. The technical upgrades and voter education that are required for RCV already have been made by Minneapolis and Hennepin County, making it easy for St. Louis Park to adopt Ranked Choice Voting and minimize startup costs.
St. Louis Park always has been a leader in promoting more open and inclusive elections. Eliminating the primary and replacing it with RCV would be a great move for our local democracy!
See FAQ for more detailed information about how RCV would work in St. Louis Park.
See the latest update on the RCV initiative.
RCV for SLP in the News
- Letter by Sharon Lehrman: St. Louis Park Charter Commission should vote in favor of ranked-choice voting
- Letter by Lesa Tieszen: St. Louis Park leaders urged to adopt ranked-choice voting
- Letter by LWV member Debbie Blake: Speak out for ranked-choice voting in St. Louis Park
- Letter by Wendy Stageberg: St. Louis Park should adopt Ranked Choice Voting
- Letter by Julia Davis: St. Louis Park should adopt Ranked Choice Voting
- Letter by Elain Savik: St. Louis Park Charter Commission should urge council to adopt RCV
- Letter by City Councilor Thom Miller: RCV would help eliminate the buddy system
- Letter by St. Paul City Councilor Rebecca Noecker: St. Louis Park should join St. Paul with ranked-choice voting
- Letter by Arco Bordayo: RCV in St. Louis Park would help change the face of voting
- FairVote Minnesota Memo to the St. Louis Park Charter Commission, Nov. 5, 2017
- Letter by Denise Konen:
- Letter by Diane Steen Hinderlee: St. Louis Park should adopt Ranked Choice Voting
- City Pages: Politics may not get Minnesotans out to vote, but beer and sausage might
- Steel Toe's Dissent and RCV are Winners at Rank Your Beer Event!
- Letter by Councilmember Sue Sanger: St. Louis Park should adopt Ranked Choice Voting
- Letter by Deb Brinkman: LWV-St. Louis Park: Implement Ranked Choice Voting in St. Louis Park
- Letter by George Beck: Ranked Choice Voting would be a good fit for St. Louis Park
How can I get involved?
The adoption of RCV requires a unanimous vote by the city council and mayor. Here’s how you can help:
- Contact the mayor and your council members to let them know you want Ranked Choice Voting. Find your city council member here.
- Download the RCV for SLP flyer for easy talking points!
- See our FAQ for more details.
- Print the petition form to sign up new supporters!
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
- Help spread the word on social media! Check out on Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation using #RankYourVote.
- Write a letter to the editor at the Sun Sailor.
How does Ranked Choice Voting work? It's as easy as 1-2-3!
- Rank the candidates in order of preference on the ballot ‐ 1st, 2nd, 3rd choice. The more you rank, the more power your ballot has.
- Your second and third choices matter! But they will only be counted if your first choice is eliminated.
- You are done! Know your ballot counts the way you truly want it to.
Who supports Ranked Choice Voting?
Ward 1 City Councilor Margaret Rog (Find out why here!)
St. Louis Park City Councilor Anne Mavity
Ward 3 City Councilor Rachel Harris (Find out why here!)
St. Louis Park City Councilor Tim Brausen
St. Louis Park City Councilor Thom Miller
Former City Councilors
Recently retired Ward 1 City Councilor Sue Sanger
Other Elected Officials
Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene
Representative Peggy Flanagan
Senator Ron Latz
Governor Mark Dayton
St. Louis Park native Rebecca Noecker, St. Paul City Councilmember
School Board member Nancy Gores
Jim Brimeyer, former Mayor and City Councilor
Gail Dorfman, Met Council Member, former Mayor and County Commissioner
Former Human Rights Commissioner Zaylore Stout
Deb Brinkman, League of Women Voters - St. Louis Park
Media and Organizational Supporters
League of Women Voters - Minnesota and St. Louis Park
DFL Senate District 46
St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission
Sierra Club - Northstar Chapter