Aug. 31, 2015

Contact: Jeanne Massey, FairVote Minnesota executive director; 612-850-6897


Want to Really See How the Presidential Candidates Stack Up?

Check out the RCV Poll at FairVote MNs State Fair Booth

ST. PAULOur ranked election for best fair food is a perennial favorite at the Minnesota State Fairand a few days into the 2015 Great Minnesota Get-Together, it looks like deep-fried cheese curds are once again outpolling the competition. 

Thats not the only fun story unfolding at the FairVote Minnesota booth, now located in the Education Building. This year were chatting with fairgoers about the exciting Ranked Choice Voting elections in St. Paul, which will feature multicandidate racesin which voters get to meaningfully rank their choicesin Wards 2, 5, and 6. Were also about the grassroots-led voting reform initiative in Duluth, which will culminate in the Nov. 3 ballot question about whether the city should adopt RCV for municipal elections.

But the questions and comments were hearing most frequently from visitors have to do with the 2016 presidential race. Fairgoers of all political persuasions want to know how a Republican contest between 17 candidatesor even a Democratic battle with 6 contenderscan possibly yield a meaningful consensus. Of course, we know that a leading candidate showing 15 or 20 percent support in a crowded multicandidate race isnt necessarily the one who can win over the most voters in a general election. How do you identify the candidate whos got genuinely broad appeal? Using Ranked Choice Voting, naturally!

When you allow voters to rank their choices instead of forcing them to choose only one, you get outcomes that more accurately reflect the entire picture of voters interests and desires. Candidates with strong support among a narrow pluralitybut who are actively disliked by many more voterscant prevail. To win under RCV, candidates must appeal to the broadest range of voters. They must engage with, persuade and ultimately represent a majority, resulting in consensus-building officeholders who focus on responsible governance.

Our friends at the national FairVote partnered with Civinomics to create interactive RCV polls for both the Republican and the Democratic races. Four thousand people nationwide have already participated, and the results are intriguing to say the least! Tomorrow, Tuesday, well be sharing these tools with visitors to our booth.

The FairVote/Civinomics polls are sure to generate some fascinating discussions; we invite you to come by and find out how a smarter voting system gives a more accurate picture of what voters are thinking and wanting. To learn more or to schedule an interview, contact FairVote Minnesota Executive Director Jeanne Massey at