To the editor:
In Minnesota, we keep hearing about ranked-choice voting. Wonder what it is?
RCV is a simple change to the way we vote when more than two people are on the ballot. Vote for a true favorite first, then a second choice, and the same for the third candidate. No more holding one’s nose and voting for someone else because a true favorite isn’t likely to win. Or worse, voting in fear that if you vote with your true mind or heart, then the person you truly oppose may win.
Counting the votes is simple. Winners are declared when someone gets more than 50% of the votes. If there are more than two people on the ballot, and someone breaks 50% in the first round – they win. If no one breaks the 50%, then the person with the least number of votes is eliminated and these ballots are transferred to those voter’s second choices, and so on until there is a winner. That way, if your first choice washes out, your vote still counts.
The paper ballots are read by the machines just like they are now. It may take a bit longer to tally the results – but that’s a small price to pay to vote for your first-choice candidate. RCV is tested and proven to work in cities and states around the country, and in countries around the world.
RCV is already being used in several Minnesota municipalities, but legislative action is required for use of RCV in state and federal offices. It makes a tremendous amount of sense to me because it gives the voter more choices, it makes the candidate more important than the party, and it gives minor parties a better chance of having a voice.
Although the legislative session is over, RCV will be back next year, and I’m glad to know Sen. Greg Clausen, Rep. John Huot and Rep. Robert Bierman back the RCV bill. As the next campaign season approaches, ask candidates for state Legislature, governor, and secretary of state if they support RCV, then volunteer to help with their campaigns.