Kathy Kranz, Bloomington Resident and Co-Chair of Senate District 50 Republicans, has agreed to testify before the Minnesota Senate’s State Government Finance and Elections Conference Committee when it resumes this coming week. She will speak to one provision - regarding Ranked Choice Voting - in House File 1952, an omnibus bill covering the operation of state government.
I appreciate the opportunity to address the proposed ban on Ranked Choice Voting provision of this bill.
As a constituent, I would like to address three things for you to think about:
1) The misleading conclusions of Jeanne Massey of FairVote Mn
2) The blatant opportunities for collusion and voter manipulation
3) Your ability and responsibility to stop RCV in Minnesota
While Jeanne Massey, Exec Director of FairVote Minnesota provided the perceived virtues and misleading constitutionality of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), you are not told that the court case she refers to never opined on the constitutionality of RCV itself (IRV at the time), but merely that the particular facial challenge of Mn Voters Alliance was not sufficiently presented in this case to win their argument. MINNESOTA VOTERS ALLIANCE v. FairVote Minnesota, Inc (2009).
Ms. Massey is not entirely forthright when she says RCV is popular and widely accepted. Last year, Bloomington voters passed a Charter Committee-defeated RCV ordinance by a mere 96 votes which was less than 0.2% of all registered voters in Bloomington. Hardly a ringing endorsement from the fifth largest city in Minnesota. In fact, the fourth largest city, Duluth rejected RCV soundly by a 3-1 margin back in 2015.
Now FairVote and, by its local extension, FairVote Minnesota, is systematically picking off Charter-run communities one by one with the goal of state and national implementation
Secondly, I am also dismayed as a long-time voter in the City of Bloomington that when our RCV referendum was pushed by the council, rejected by the charter commission, as happened also in Minnetonka last year, there was no program planning, rules or procedure established prior to voting. Both cities' voters voted on a “concept”. That left both city governments welcoming the intrusion of an outside force to later determine their own election “process” using passage of the “concept” as permission to unilaterally set the specifics of their own elections!
This year, off-year municipal elections will take place in Bloomington. FairVote Minnesota provided two days of training to candidates and campaigns, many of which are not yet even declared, alarmingly offering techniques and training on how to form alliances. I call this very clearly outright election collusion and manipulation of the unsuspecting voter outcomes. The strategy only encourages the “straw dogs” (or, as FairVote would call them, “spoiler “candidates) to influence the election. How is this enhancing our current election system for the positive?
As a voter, I feel very disenfranchised knowing that candidates who want my vote also are making “deals” with other candidates for votes rather than individually demonstrating their worthiness to me. How do voters feel about candidate collusion before even becoming a policy changer? I want my ONE vote to matter and not be part of a second-choice collusive strategy game between groups and special interests.
Finally, as a resident, I watched my local officials’ campaign in my city for a new way to elect themselves. I am confused how some say that Article XII Sec 3 of our State Constitution does not apply to and protect municipal/city elections overall.
SPECIAL LEGISLATION; LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Sec. 3. Local government; legislation affecting.
The legislature may provide by law for the creation, organization, administration, consolidation, division and dissolution of local government units and their functions, for the change of boundaries thereof, for their elective and appointive officers including qualifications for office and for the transfer of county seats. A county boundary may not be changed or county seat transferred until approved in each county affected by a majority of the voters voting on the question.
Paraphrased, you, as a state legislative body, may pass the proposed ban on RCV for all local governments in the state, staying true to our constitution and not feel bad about doing so.
RCV was initiated, funded and pushed by an outside non-resident group, FairVote Minnesota and by extension FairVote National. As a resident of a municipality where government actually begins, I am here along with many, to support the ban on Ranked Choice Voting in the state of Minnesota superseding outside influenced local referendums. I hope you do too.
I was surprised that the Republican-controlled senate passed this legislation because it’s my understanding that top-down control is counter to Republican philosophy. So, it is clear that they have taken this extreme measure to counter the egregious, false, voting system that promises things to the voters that it never, ever delivers. It is clear they believe the lying has to stop.