March 1, 2019
To the editor,
Nobody likes things that are spoiled, whether it’s milk that sat too long on the counter or leftovers hidden in the back of the fridge. My least favorite is a spoiler in elections, and it can leave just as sour of a smell as curdled milk. An election spoiler is a candidate who is very similar to another and because of the similarity will cause a stronger candidate to lose simply because of the split in support for similar ideals. This happened with Ralph Nader in 2000 splitting votes from Al Gore in the presidential election as well as Dean Barkley spoiling Norm Coleman in the 2008 Senate race. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to vote for who you want without worrying about someone spoiling the race?
With Ranked Choice Voting, voters have the power to rank candidates in order of preference instead of choosing just one - as simple as 1-2-3. The winner is required to earn a majority (50 percent plus 1) of votes. If a candidate receives a majority of first choices, that candidate wins. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate with the fewest first choices is eliminated and those votes are moved to the second choices on those ballots. This process repeats until a candidate reaches a majority. Because the vote transfers if a candidate is eliminated, a candidate who would have split the vote would have their votes transferred to the second or third choice candidates.
Besides spoiling, RCV also promotes more positive campaigns, since candidates will have to appeal to those who would put them as a second or third choice, and widen their audience. Right now, only charter cities in Minnesota can choose to have RCV, but there is currently a local options bill being entered at a hearing on Feb. 27 which would allow RCV to be used by every city in our great state.
I urge Sen. Scott Jensen and Rep. Jim Nash to support this local options bill, and give Minnesotans the freedom to vote their conscience!
Norwood Young America