RCV Takes the Stage as the State Legislative Session Begins
Minnesota’s state legislative session begins today, January 4, at noon, and the need to strengthen our democracy through Ranked Choice Voting could never be more apparent. In the latest act of defiance of our democratic institutions, there is an effort to overturn the results of a presidential election in which the majority of Americans have spoken. Never have we seen national leaders spreading disinformation about our elections and pressuring state election officials to overturn the results. This grave assault on electoral democracy underscores the need for meaningful and urgent electoral reform. We need an election process that ensures elected leaders represent and are responsive to the broad majority of voters. Our current system doesn’t do that and we are facing the consequences of this reality every day. The good news is there is a solution. Ranked Choice Voting is a simple and doable way to ensure that we elect leaders who are elected by the majority of voters and not only their extreme base.
Rep. Steve Elkins and Sen. Kent Eken, along with a growing number of supporters in the state legislature, are actively preparing to introduce a bill enacting Ranked Choice Voting statewide in the Minnesota House. Nearly 40 legislators have signed on to a letter of support before session even begins!
The bill requires the use of RCV in primaries and general elections for all state and federal elections, including for president. It’s a top to bottom use of RCV at the state level and includes the option for local jurisdictions to use RCV if they wish. Our aim is to pass the bill in the House, making history as the first state in the nation to pass a statewide RCV measure through a legislative body. We will continue to educate and secure support in the Senate, but do not expect to get a hearing from a Senate Election Committee led by Senator Kiffmeyer, who is hostile to election reform.
The House consolidated committees this year. Whereas in the last biennium, we had hearings in the Elections Subcommittee and State Government Operations, those two committees have been rolled into State Government Finance & Policy, chaired by Rep. Mike Nelson. Rep. Elkins and Rep. Kristen Bahner are on the committee along with other supporters, and Rep. Nelson has already committed to hearing the bill!
The hard work we did in 2020 prepared us to be ready for the start of the 2021 session (thank you!!!), and we have a real opportunity to advance RCV statewide in Minnesota!
Now is the moment your voice truly matters! We ask that you immediately contact your legislators and urge them to support Rep. Elkins’ and Sen. Eken’s bill to pass RCV statewide.
Together, we can make RCV possible in Minnesota. Thank you for taking this urgent call to action!
Fighting for Our Democracy Event with Secretary of State Steve Simon
We were simply thrilled that more than 80 RCV supporters joined us on December 27th for our special zoom event, Fighting for our Democracy with Special Guest Secretary of State Steve Simon.
For a full recording of the event, click here, and for the event summary click here.
Secretary Simon outlined the unique challenges posed by holding an election during a once in a century pandemic and how despite those challenges, we achieved close to 80% voter turnout – the highest in the nation and the highest voter turnout in Minnesota in 64 years! Thank you to Secretary Simon and our election workers – and Minnesta voters – for persevering to achieve this result.
Please take a moment to thank Secretary Simon for all of his efforts to hold a safe and fair election by emailing him at email@example.com.
While the successful election showed that voters are hungry for voting options like vote-by-mail and early voting, threats to our democracy persist. We need to not only rebut disinformation, but also improve our system so that we elect leaders who appeal to the broad majority, rather than to extremes and are more inclusive of all voters. Ranked Choice Voting offers a path to better leaders.
Five MN Cities + NYC Gear Up for RCV in 2021!!
Because of our RCV victories this November, we will have FIVE cities using RCV for their mayoral and council races in 2021 — Bloomington, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and St. Louis Park! And they are not alone; NYC will also be rolling out RCV for the first time this year, including in a high-profile mayoral election which may feature former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Several other cities across the country will also be electing their local leaders using RCV.
We’re excited to share that Minneapolis City Clerk Casey Carl is convening a multi-jurisdictional task force among the five cities to share and coordinate technology improvements in the implementation and tabulation of RCV. This will be tremendously helpful for all cities, but especially for the most recent adopters, Bloomington and Minnetonka.
We are gearing up for a robust #RankYourVote outreach and education campaign in these cities and will be seeking hundreds of volunteers to help prepare hundreds of thousands of voters this spring, summer and fall to rank their ballots. Stay tuned for an invitation to volunteer!
Thank you for everything you did to make 2020 so successful, and we look forward to working with you to make 2021 even better!
Your FairVote Minnesota Team