Ranked-choice voting could mean weeks before winners are announced

Two St. Paul city council races are too close to call and will go to hand counts next week. One of those races has incumbent Dave Thune in a tight race for his seat in Ward 2.
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Two St. Paul city council races are too close to call and will go to hand counts next week. One of those races has incumbent Dave Thune in a tight race for his seat in Ward 2.

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Thune re-elected in St. Paul after ranked votes are re-tallied

Nearly a week after St. Paul voters cast their first ranked-choice ballots, Dave Thune was declared the winner of his city council race. Thune failed to gain a majority of the first-choice votes that were counted on Election Night. Counting two rounds of second-choice votes finally pushed him over 50 percent.

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St. Paul voters have ousted one City Council incumbent, Lee Helgen. Dave Thune is awaiting word on his job, too, after falling short of 50 percent of the votes in the first round of the city's first-ever Ranked Choice race. Election workers are tallying up voters' second choices today.

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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.

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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.

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