Ranked Choice Voting - Not in Bloomington’s Best Interests

Small_Cropped_image_only_Logo_No_Ranked_Choice_Voting.jpgThe once well-managed cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul switched to ranked choice voting (RCV) to elect their mayor and city council members. If the recent actions of city government in these two major Minnesota cities are any indication, RCV doesn’t appear to have served the public’s interest in electing qualified candidates for city offices.

Ranked choice voting is promoted by a political activist group known as FairVote Minnesota. Their website promotes RCV using glowing terms like inclusive and representative, showing photos of groups of smiling citizens. RCV advocates falsely claim that switching to RCV will increase voter turnout.

In reality, RCV is a convoluted system of voting in which voters are expected to understand the differing positions of potentially large numbers of candidates for each particular office and then rank them in the voter’s preferred order in the voting booth. This incorrect assumption about voter motivation by RCV advocates represents a practical impossibility for the vast majority of voters and further weakens the case for adopting ranked choice voting.

Under RCV, election officials will evaluate the election results, and, if no single candidate has a clear majority of the votes, then election officials will initiate a scheme of reallocating votes based on voter’s second, third, fourth, fifth and so on, choices until one candidate achieves a 51% majority. FairVote claims that this process will always yield a winner that has majority voter support – a highly misleading assertion.

The candidate with the most votes in the first round could lose and the winner could ultimately be a candidate who started out with a much smaller number of votes but survived several rounds of vote reallocation to be declared the winner.

A complex voting system like RCV is subject to manipulation by political interests that are savvy in the mathematics involved. For example, they could load up the ballot with decoy candidates in hopes of thwarting popular candidates who might otherwise be declared a winner in a traditional election.

Bloomington voters should understand the complete picture associated with RCV. The national FairVote organization has as one of its goals the elimination of our country’s Electoral College system. If successful, lower population states like Minnesota would be marginalized in national elections and high population states like California and New York will literally dictate to the rest of the country who will serve as the nation’s President.

Bloomington voters should also know that a key executive of the national FairVote also serves on the Open Society Foundation – an organization funded by the radical, left wing, billionaire, political activist George Soros.

Bloomington voters should ask their mayor and city council members why, in light of major city fiscal challenges caused by the pandemic, they are spending limited resources to promote RCV – a change to our election system that was of little interest to Bloomington citizens until an outside political group, FairVote Minnesota, targeted Bloomington and Minnetonka with its RCV campaigns.

Citizens should ask why the City Council overrode the vote of Bloomington’s Charter Commission to not place RCV on the ballot. Instead the City Council decided to push forward for a vote on a concept like RCV that would replace our traditional election system.

Since it makes little sense as to why RCV is suddenly such an important issue to Bloomington’s elected officials, citizens should want to know what is motivating Bloomington’s elected officials to support RCV. Is it a reward of future campaign support or is it a check box for achieving future political aspirations or ?

Vote “No” on ranked choice voting. Don’t allow outside political activists to dictate how we run our city.

Showing 5 reactions

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  • D Rickheim
    commented 2020-11-03 11:58:13 -0600
    @Tom Spitznagle

    There were over 4 million Californian and nearly 3 million votes for Trump that, with the EC, mean nothing. Republican votes for prez mean little outside of swing states. Why give undue importance to a handful of toss-up states?

    If this means that Trump would’ve lost 2016, so be it. Don’t forget that Bush Jr. came within a thousand votes in FL to losing the 2000 election with a majority of votes nationally. How quickly memories fade …

    Don’t hate the process when the process (a) wasn’t intended to do this and (b) is a poor system to begin with.
  • Tom Spitznagle
    commented 2020-11-03 09:51:18 -0600
    In today’s system, CA and NY only get so many electoral votes based on population. They get the same number of electoral votes regardless of how these large states typically vote very heavily for Democrat party candidates. That’s why the Democrats want to dump the electoral college system.

    If the electoral college is disbanded in favor of a popular vote system, then the heavy Democrat vote counts of these highly populated states will be unleashed on the national vote count and can easily swing a national election. Under these circumstances, Hillary Clinton would have won in 2016.

    For essentially the same reason, that’s why the NATIONAL polls always seem to favor Democrats leading up to the actual election. They are polling many more people from large, heavily Democrat CA and NY in their random samples than from the other, smaller states.

    The electoral college system acts like a safety valve preventing large, heavily partisan states from potentially having an outsized impact.
  • D Rickheim
    commented 2020-11-02 10:52:35 -0600
    > If successful, lower population states like Minnesota would be marginalized in national elections and high population states like California and New York will literally dictate to the rest of the country who will serve as the nation’s President.

    The article makes some good points about the caveats of RCV but this paragraph is factually incorrect.
    The electoral college wasn’t designed to be a check on more populous states — this was the intention behind the senate.
    Further, NY and Cali are collectively 18% of the US population. They don’t dictate national elections anymore than their relative size allows.
  • Marlene Dickey
    followed this page 2020-10-06 07:01:32 -0500
  • Tom Spitznagle
    published this page in OPINION 2020-10-05 19:59:35 -0500

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