The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 31, 2013

Our View: Ranked choice gets a serious test

Why It Matters: Minneapolis is about to give its "ranked choice voting" process a serious test with a 35-candidate mayoral election.


Minneapolis, a generation or more ago, was a place where moderate Republicans such as Arne Carlson (who eventually became governor) could thrive. That’s died out. But this election system has made Cam Winton, a Republican who is liberal on such social issues as gay marriage, a viable mayoral possibility.

Ranked-choice voting may have its flaws, one of which, at least now, would include its novelty and resulting bewilderment. Another: We are unlikely to know on Tuesday night who won; depending on how deep the vote count goes, we may not know on Wednesday either.

But if the process can handle such a fractured field and produce a legitimate winner, it may be worth replicating elsewhere in the state, including partisan elections for the Legislature, state offices and Congress. We certainly know that the primary system we use for those elections is flawed.

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