Authored on November 24, 2013

 RANKED CHOICE VOTING BY THE NUMBERS: 2013 Key Minneapolis Election Findings

  • Turnout in Minneapolis was over 80,000 the highest for a municipal election in 12 years.
  • Voters demonstrated a deep and thorough understanding of Ranked Choice Voting: 88% ranked a second choice, and a full 78% ranked all three of their available choices in the mayoral race. Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges, who won by building a broad coalition of first, second and third choice support, was present on 63% percent of all ballots.
  • High rates of ranking consistently occurred across the competitive, multi-candidate City Council and Park Board races as well, including in the lower-income and highly diverse Wards 5 and 9.

Ranked 2

 Ranked 3
Park Board At-Large   76%    61%
Ward 5 City Council     75%     63%
Ward 9 City Council   81%     61% 
Ward 13 City Council       83%       63%
  • Minneapolis leadership is more diverse than ever:
    • A gender-balanced city council and the second female mayor in Minneapolis history.
    • The first Somali-American, Latina, and Hmong city council candidates elected in Minneapolis history, resulting in the citys most diversely represented city council.
  • Just half of one percent (0.5%) of all ballots cast in the mayoral race had errors, such as an over-vote or skipped ranking. Ninety percent of these were correctable errors, resulting in a 99.94% valid ballot rate.
  • In the citys most ethnically diverse ward, Ward 5, voters proved that they understood and appreciated RCV:
    • Turnout in the council race was 3,622 (24%) the highest since 2005 when Don Samuels and Natalie Lee first ran against each other.
    • 75% of voters ranked two choices, and 63% ranked all three available choices in the council race. In the mayoral race, 84% ranked two candidates and 76% ranked three candidates.
    • The winner of the city council race, Blong Yang, was elected with 52% of voter support, a higher share than in both the mayoral race and the competitive council races.
    • Less than 1% of ballots had errors, and there were zero defective ballots in the council race.
  • A whopping 85% of polled voters found RCV very or somewhat simple to use, according to an exit poll conducted by Edison Research.
    • While younger voters aged 18-34 (91%) found RCV simplest to use, 81% of voters aged 65 and older found it simple as well.
    • Income and education did not significantly impact ease of RCV use:
      • 88% of voters with a college education and 81% of voters without found RCV to be simple.
      • 87% of voters with an income above $100,000 and 83% of voters with an income under $100,000 found RCV to be easy.
      • 82% of voters of color found RCV to be simple, finally putting to rest the concern that communities of color would find RCV difficult.
  • More than two-thirds 67% to 80% of polled voters across all age, income, education and ethnic groups said they were familiar with RCV before going to the polls, demonstrating the importance and success of the outreach and education efforts undertaken by FairVote MN, the City of Minneapolis, and others to prepare voters for Election Day.
  • Last, but not least, voters like it: More than two-thirds (68%) of all voters want to continue to use RCV in future municipal elections and 61 percent would like to see it used for state elections.
    • High levels of support for RCV in Minneapolis exists among older, nonwhite, lower income and less educated voters, who critics thought wouldnt understand or like RCV: 62% of those aged 65 and older, 59% of people of color, 63% of those without a college degree and 68% of those earning under $50,000 all want to see RCV continue in future city elections.


  • Exit Poll conducted by Edison Research. The poll was conducted in-person at 18 randomly selected voting precincts among 2,453 Minneapolis voters, using a weighted design to ensure an accurate representation of all voters. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the full Minneapolis sample of 2,453 voters is 2.9.

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