ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Voters in Minneapolis are now choosing their next mayor from a crowded candidate field, as polls opened for Election Day 2013.
Tuesday is an odd-year Election Day in Minnesota, which mostly means city races. In addition, 76 school districts are asking for financial help from voters through either operating, building or capital project levies.
The most-watched contest has been the crowded race to succeed outgoing Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who decided against running for a fourth term.
There are 35 candidates running to succeed him – the largest group of candidates in city history — and they all have a shot thanks to the process known as “ranked choice voting” that allows voters to back up to three candidates in order of preference.
While ranked choice has been in place since 2007, this is the first year there hasn’t been an incumbent mayor running.
Ranked choice voting is causing some amount of concern. The Minneapolis Elections and Voter Services Office has been working overtime to explain how it works.
The city is adding more election judges and translators in every precincts, as they predict more delays with people having more questions about how ranked choice voting works.
Election officials aren’t expecting to call the race for Minneapolis mayor by the end of the night, and it could be significantly longer beyond that.
St. Paul also has a mayor’s race, but incumbent Chris Coleman is heavily favored to win a third term.
Around the state, several other cities will have mayor and council member elections, and 76 school districts are asking for some kind of financial help through either operating, building or capital project levies.
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