Authored on October 18, 2020

Ranked-choice voting won’t fix everything with our elections, but it will give us more choice in how we vote and increase the likelihood that our city leaders are chosen by a majority of voters.

That’s why it’s supported by a wide range of past leaders like Dave Durenberger, Arne Carlson, Tim Penny and Mark Ritchie, as well as the entire current Bloomington delegation of state reps and senators and non-partisan groups like Minnesotans for Clean Elections and the League of Women Voters Minnesota.

For an individual voter, the process of ranking candidates for office is simple. If you want, you can just fill in an oval for your first choice and leave it at that. Every voter would also have the choice to fill in ovals for their second choice, third choice, etc. It’s not any more complicated than one of my kids telling me their five favorite foods.

Opponents like to make the vote counting process under ranked-choice voting seem complicated, but it’s straight forward. If one candidate has a majority of first-place votes, that candidate wins. If not, the candidate with the fewest first choices is defeated and those voters have their vote count for their second choice. Most elections would be over by then, but in some cases it would keep going until one candidate wins a majority.

In any case, every voter doesn’t need to understand the vote tabulation process completely, in the same way they don’t have to explain the technology involved in the bar codes that are on every ballot. But just as the bar code technology makes our elections more secure, using ranked choice voting will provide winners that better reflect who we want representing us in our government.

Please vote yes on question 3 for ranked-choice voting in Bloomington.

Chris Saffert

Bloomington