To: Interested Parties
From: Jeanne Massey
Re: Key Findings from City of Minneapoliss 2013 Post-Election Survey_
Many of the results from the City of Minneapolis post-election survey are consistent with the findings of FairVote Minnesotas 2013 exit poll, including:
- 92% of voters knew theyd be asked to rank their vote
- 82% of voters ranked their ballot
- 81% of voters understood RCV fairly or perfectly well
- 87% of voters found RCV simple to use
These are strikingly high numbers that once again prove that Ranked Choice Voting is simple to use and easy to understand.
Indeed, a solid majority (53%) of voters surveyed think Ranked Choice Voting should continue to be used for municipal elections, while just 37% prefer a return to the old system. This high level of support is seen in other cities with RCV as well. In a 2013 study directed by the University of Iowa's Caroline Tolbert comparing cities using RCV and like-size cities that dont, 56% of likely city voters in RCV cities favor RCV in local elections, compared to 49% of those who live in non RCV cities. Among the 815 respondents in the survey from Minneapolis, 56% favored RCV in local elections. And among the 662 Minneapolis citizens that voted in the 2013 elections, 58% favored RCV. This illustrates, once again, that people familiar and experienced with RCV like it and want to keep it.
Its also notable that among non-voters, a mere 12% blamed RCV for their choice not to participate. More concerning is that 28% of voters say they dont care much about voting in municipal elections, which speaks to the need for continued public education about why municipal elections matter and are an important part of our democracy.
Confidence in the accuracy of vote-counting under RCV is also high: a full 77% of voters and 73 % of candidates are confident or very confident in the result.
- Those most confident in the results were African-American and Hispanic/Latino voters, voters across all income ranges, and middle-aged voters.
Voters also have confidence in the citys election judges, with 80% finding them helpful at the polls.
Voters used and understood RCV in huge numbers. They have confidence in the system. While some prefer the old system, a majority of Minneapolis voters think RCV should continue to be used. The results of this survey speak positively to the transition to Ranked Choice Voting, and highlight the continued need for voter education and outreach not only about RCV, but about the importance of municipal elections in general. Investing in such outreach is a civic good that helps increase voter understanding of local elections and promotes higher turnout, regardless of the voting system used. FairVote Minnesota has always recognized this need and will continue to actively work toward a fully informed and educated electorate.
FairVote Minnesota agrees with and supports all of the recommendations made to the Minneapolis City Council, and we look forward to working with the City of Minneapolis on further improvements, including ballot design, filing fees, faster tabulation software, and an increased number of rankings available to voters. We thank the Minneapolis election officials and hundreds of election judges for their excellent work and dedication to the voters of Minneapolis.