Current Use + Progress
Ranked Choice Voting is cited by political scientists and experts as one of the top most powerful and achievable reforms to strengthen our democracy. It is a simple change to the ballot but one that has the power to cut through the polarization and gridlock that plagues our government and restore power and choice to the voter.
Minnesota’s RCV Experience
More than 545,000 ranked choice ballots have been cast in Minnesota since 2009 when Minneapolis began using the system. RCV is used in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and St. Louis Park, and was adopted by Bloomington and Minnetonka voters in the 2020 election. Each of these five cities will use RCV in 2021 for mayoral and city council elections. Voters in Minnesota overwhelmingly report that RCV is easy to use and they prefer it over the old system.
While a growing number of Minnesota communities would like to adopt RCV for local elections, only charter cities with odd year elections – a small percentage of cities in Minnesota – are able to do so. We need to pass the local options measure in the state legislature to restore local control and allow all local jurisdictions to adopt RCV if they wish.
Where Ranked Choice Voting is Used Now
20 million Americans live in cities and states where RCV is widely used.
RCV has been adopted for state and federal elections in Alaska, and Maine uses RCV in statewide primary and in federal elections, including presidential contests. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Springfield, IL use RCV for military and overseas voters.
More than two dozen cities in 17 states use Ranked Choice Voting for local elections – to elect mayors, city councils, school boards, and more. They range from large (New York, NY; San Francisco, CA) to small (Vineyard, UT; Eastpointe, MI). Five cities in Minnesota — St. Paul, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, and Bloomington — will use RCV for their mayoral and council races in 2021.
Democratic and Republican parties routinely use RCV in leadership elections and nominating contests, but 2020 saw both parties make great strides with RCV. Five states ranked their vote in presidential primaries or caucuses in 2020, and the Indiana Republican party and the Utah Democratic and Republican parties used RCV for their virtual conventions. The Minnesota DFL also used RCV for endorsements at its virtual state convention.
Ranked Choice Voting is backed by the Minnesota DFL and is a major platform plank of the Green, Independence, and Libertarian Parties of Minnesota. We urge all political parties to embrace RCV for their endorsements, party elections and nominating contests — the most democratic and efficient way to conduct those elections.
Around the World
RCV is used in democracies around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland and in the city of London, England.