FairVote Minnesota supports passage of modest, sensible, and straightforward legislation that would make Ranked Choice Voting an option for cities that wish to innovate. We are working with legislators to pass our Local Options bill, which will make it easier for efficiency-conscious communities to switch to Ranked Choice Voting if they wish.
The Local Options bill (in 2018, S.F. 2071; H.F. 2322) enjoys bipartisan support, with Senators Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) and Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope) and Representatives Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) and Laurie Halverson (DFL-Eagan) co-sponsoring the bill. In 2019 we’ll continue to push for passage with bipartisan support.
This bill would free statutory jurisdictions to use Ranked Choice Voting if they choose, and allow charter cities to approve RCV by ordinance. It also would establish guidelines to ensure that the next generation of voting equipment is RCV-capable. The bill would impose no mandates and has no effect whatsoever on communities uninterested in pursuing RCV.
In Minnesota, only 15% of our cities have the option to set their own rules for their local elections. The remaining 85% of cities, all townships, all school districts, all soil & water boards, and all counties except Ramsey, would have to ask the Minnesota Legislature for permission to use Ranked Choice Voting for their elections. This is a local control issue.
Minneapolis and St. Paul use Ranked Choice Voting with tremendous success. St. Louis Park adopted it unanimously in 2018 and will use it for their city elections in 2019. Other charter cities are considering it.
Former bill author Steve Simon continues to champion the bill in his current role as Secretary of State. He described the local options measure as a “Goldilocks option — it’s just right. It’s a compromise that says not that any jurisdiction should have Ranked Choice Voting, but if they want to have it, they shouldn’t have to come on bended knee to ask the legislature to ask special permission... if [a city] wants to experiment with RCV, they ought to do it.”
Read more about the Local Options bill, its supporters, and its progress. Contact FairVote Minnesota Executive Director Jeanne Massey at Jeanne.email@example.com or 612-850-6897.