Ranked-Choice Voting For Mpls. Mayor Explained

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Tuesday next week — Election Day — voters in Minneapolis will head to the polls to choose a new mayor and a new city council.

But the process of counting the votes and declaring a winner in the mayor’s race is likely to be a lot more complicated than in years past — that’s because of the huge number of candidates and ranked-choice voting.

Not only are there 35 candidates for mayor, voters also have a chance to select their first, second and third choices.

This time around we shouldn’t expect to know the winner of the mayor’s race on Election Night.

“If there is no clear winner who achieves the threshold of 50 percent plus one, we go through run-off periods,” said Casey Carl, the City Clerk for Minneapolis. “There we take the lowest vote getter and we eliminate that candidate, and we look to the ballots of that candidate and we go to their second choices.”

The city created a video to explain how the second and third choice votes will be redistributed.

It has a narrator and graphics that demonstrate how the winner will be determined, if a candidate does not have more than 50 percent of the vote.

CJ Hurst lives in Minneapolis and shared his thoughts on ranked-choice voting.

“You know, I think first, second, and third will be pretty easy for most people,” he said. “I think they are going to be alright with it. I have faith in the Minneapolis community. I think we are a pretty smart bunch.”

Frank Blackmon said he’s got some homework to do after seeing the long list of candidates.

“It’s crazy. It’s got names I have never even heard of and then they’ve got platforms they are on that I have never even thought of,” he said.

Mayor R.T. Rybak also weighed in on the the long list of candidates. It takes just $20 to file for mayor, while in St. Paul it costs $500.

“We have too many people on the ballot,” he said. “And we should have done what I wanted to do earlier, which is
raise the fee to get on the ballot, or make you get a few signatures.”

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