Last Friday was a good day for democracy, but not yet a great day.
Ranked-choice voting, the provision to allow any city, county, or local municipality to use RCV in their elections, is included in House File 1935, the House Omnibus State Government Finance bill, which has been sent to the House floor for a vote.
The bill is expected to pass the House and be sent to House-Senate Conference Committee to be negotiated.
Being just one part of an omnibus bill makes RCV vulnerable to being traded away for something more important.
What could be more important? RCV increases voter participation, decreases campaign animosity, and allows voters to vote their conscience without worrying that their vote will be wasted.
RCV is improving voting in more and more places: Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Maine, and New Mexico, and many countries, and RCV is a plank in the DFL platform.
Yet the Republicans tried to ban RCV last session and have opposed it in every conference committee this session.
They seem not to like the fact that voter turnout increases, races tend to be less vitriolic, and candidates must have a majority of votes to win.
How can you help? Legislators listen to their constituents, so be a constituent whose voice is heard.
This takes five minutes and is stress-free. Pick up the phone and call your Minnesota representative’s and senator’s offices and ask them to join you in supporting Ranked Choice Voting.
Your children will thank you.