Election Day is November 5 — and we want to be sure you’re ready! As a reminder, we have city council and school board races this year, and for the council races, we use Ranked Choice Voting. Adopted by voters in 2009 and used for the first time in 2011, RCV is not new, but with new voters in the neighborhood, we want to be sure everyone knows about it and is prepared to rank their ballots come to Election Day!
RCV is a simple change to the ballot that lets voters rank their preferences on the ballot, 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. You can rank up to six candidates in any race.
RCV eliminated the low-turnout, unrepresentative August primary, so voters need to turn out for just a single election in November. The rankings are used to ensure winning candidates receive support from the broadest swatch of voters possible.
RCV allows you to identify backup choices in case your #1 candidate doesn’t gather enough support to make it past the initial rounds of counting. That means choosing your favorite – plus two, three or additional other candidates you could live with – and marking them in order of preference on your ballot. Identifying backup choices isn’t mandatory, but it’s smart. Ranking your ballot 1-2-3 gives you more choice and gives your ballot more power.
Each ballot will have three columns, with 6 available rankings. Simply mark the ballot left to right, indicating your first choice in the first column, your second choice in the next column, and your third choice in the column, up to six choices. “Bullet voting,” marking just one choice or marking the same candidate in all three columns, is identical to only picking a first choice. It’s just like voting in the primary, but sitting out the general election if your first choice doesn’t win.
Fully ranking your ballot in the multi-candidate races means that if your favorite candidate doesn’t gather enough support in early rounds of counting and is eliminated, your vote will transfer to your next choice and you’ll continue to be part of the decision-making process.
To learn more about who’s on the ballot and how RCV works, visit www.rankyourvote.org and rcelections.org.
Early voting started Oct. 29 so you can vote at Ramsey County before Nov. 5. See the location here.
Download your sample ballot and practice before you vote! https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/elections-voting/voters/ranked-voting
Happy Election Day, and remember to rank your ballot on Nov. 5! Thanks for all you do to make our neighborhood, and our city, stronger.
The Porchlite is a monthly newsletter and blog that is developed by the SUPC Communications Committee.