Authored on March 08, 2018

To the Editor:

I’m having trouble understanding why anyone would be against ranked-choice voting. This more progressive voting system does not eliminate anyone’s voting rights or force anyone to vote for someone they do not wish to see elected. In fact, if a person only wishes to vote for one candidate, that is completely within their prerogative with ranked-choice voting.

However, I am concerned that with our current system a candidate can win the election with as little as 20 to 30 percent of the votes. (The city council eliminated our local primary last year so now candidates only need a plurality, not a majority to win). Ranked-choice voting changes this by generally requiring that the winning candidate receive 50 percent plus one more vote (i.e., majority support). By allowing voters to rank their candidates (if they so choose), votes continue to be counted until one of the candidates achieves a majority.

The elections last November in Minneapolis and St. Paul showed other benefits of ranked-choice voting, including record voting turnout and wonderful candidate diversity. Clearly, Twin Cities residents believed their voice mattered in their elections, and they showed up to use it.

We live in a democracy. It’s time to honor it with a voting system that allows more citizens’ voices to be heard! If you agree, don’t miss the public hearing on ranked-choice voting 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at St. Louis Park City Hall.

Debbie Blake

St. Louis Park