MPLS city council decides not to make ranked-choice voting even more confusing


In a move that should keep the citywide election cycle in Minneapolis somewhat in check, the city council voted Friday to limit the number of choices a voter may have in this fall's ranked-choice voting.

The Star Tribune reports that at issue is the possibility of increasing the number of options on the ballot to five or more candidates, which some council members have opposed. But the vote Friday left the city's ballot as/is, with only three choices to cast in any city race.

(The paper also notes that St. Paul allows six choices.)

Ranked-choice voting (remember when it was IRV, instant-runoff voting?) allows voters to rank their first, second, and third choices for a political office. Those are then taken into account if any one candidate does not win more than 50 percent of the first-choice votes, and candidates are eliminated after each round until there's a winner.

Got that? Sure you do.

Minneapolis used it in its last election cycle, 2009. But this time, the Strib further notes, at least six people are running for the seat being left by Mayor R.T. Rybak, which could make outcomes--as well as the vote counting--clear as mud.

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St. Paul to use ranked voting for city council election

St. Paul voters will test the new system Tuesday that will allow voters to rank their choices for St. Paul City Council. The process is to ensure that a majority winner can be determined.

St. Paul to hold first election using 'ranked voting' for city council races

For the first time, voters can rank their choices in the seven city council races. In some races with more than two candidates, one person might not come away with a majority of the votes, so the race goes to an instant run-off with people's second and third choices. The four school board seats are not ranked choice.