MINNEAPOLIS (Oct. 31, 2013) — With just days left until municipal elections in Minneapolis and St. Paul, FairVote Minnesota is in the final stages of a major public education campaign to ensure voters understand are ready to rank their ballots.
The high-profile election in Minneapolis will yield a new mayor as well as city council, Park Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation members. In St. Paul, voters in Ward 1 will elect a new council member in an open, competitive, multicandidate race.
“Minnesota voters are smart, engaged citizens who understand the importance of a strong, accessible democracy,” says FairVote Minnesota Executive Director Jeanne Massey. “We anticipate higher voter turnout this year than four years ago, and we expect voters to maximize their power by ranking their ballots at the polls.”
FairVote Minnesota will be near many polling locations across Minneapolis on Election Day, serving as a last-minute resource for voters who might have questions about Ranked Choice Voting. Additionally, the city of Minneapolis has fully trained hundreds of election judges who stand ready to help voters understand the relatively new Ranked Choice Voting system inside their polling place.
After the 2009 Minneapolis election, 95% of Minneapolis voters surveyed found Ranked Choice Voting easy to use; we expect a similar consensus this year about how simple and effective Ranked Choice Voting is.
While Ranked Choice Voting doesn’t necessarily drive voter turnout, it maximizes the number of voters who ultimately decide our elected leaders. By eliminating very low-turnout and highly-unrepresentative primaries, and welcoming a broad range of diverse voices into the conversation, Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to hear from candidates with a variety of ideas and perspectives – and then rank their choices accordingly.
“The Minneapolis mayoral race, in particular, has been a prime example of Ranked Choice Voting increasing the civility of campaigns and elections,” adds Massey. “This campaign has been overwhelmingly positive and issue-focused, with noticeably rare negative or personal attacks.”
FairVote Minnesota will be available on Election Day and night, and the days following the election, to provide analysis of the election outcomes. For information about FairVote Minnesota’s 2013 Election Expectations visit http://rankyourvotempls.org.