Ranked choice voting and the Minneapolis impact

  • Article by: DAVID SCHULTZ
  • Updated: May 27, 2013 - 6:15 PM

The 2009 race in Minneapolis, though not the best test, offers some clues.

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alansonMay. 27, 13 6:50 PM

A low key analysis by the esteemed professor. It seems to quietly damn RCV with faint praise. One other question needs to be answered (because it may have to be during this election): how do you manage a recount in an RCV system? Given the much higher percentage of spoiled ballots (i.e. confused voters), it would seem to be much more likely in RCV than our old, relatively reliable, system that included a non-virtual runoff.

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comment229May. 28, 13 5:50 AM

How do you recount in an election with RCV? Simple, ask the good folks in Australia how they do it. They have had RCV forever. Simply, Jesse Ventura was elected out of the blue, without RCV and I suspect that if we did have it, you would see the demise of one or two political parties and rightly so.... meaning that dark horse candidate might just have a chance. I was told I was wasting my vote by voting for Ventura; but I wasted it anyway and look what happened. To me, that year, it did not matter who I voted for, Coleman or Humphrey, as I considered both (and still do) to be incompetent so it did not matter. I can tell you that if RCV became the rule in Minnesota politics, we would get a lot more honest candidates instead of funneling us into the two major political party choices. I would welcome it.

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dewarfMay. 28, 13 9:52 AM

I certainly hope this 'professor' didn't get paid to conduct this study and come to any conclusions. Let's summarize: RCV had five goals. The 'prof' came up with these results: 1, No (or not clear); 2, No; 3, Yes; 4, No; 5, No. So his conclusion is that 1 out of 5 leads to "too soon to tell whether RCV secured its 5 goals" and "little to say it failed". What? Was this guy educated in the Minneapolis Public School system? Then he started in with his excuses: 2009 was "not a great test" and that the 10.54% spoiled or voter error rate only "raised concerns". Finally he concludes that this 10.54% "could matter" in 2013. Ya think? I wish he'd have studied some other cities (including Oakland, CA) and offered their results due to being limited to a single election in Minneapolis. Although RCV clearly didn't work here in 2009, are others enjoying good results after numerous election cycles (i.e., is there hope in the future)? Alanson commented that this was a "low key analysis". At best. In the parlance of the newspaper trade, this article is properly called 'filler'.

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chuckrepkeMay. 28, 1311:29 AM

Schultz is an advocate of RCV and testified for Fairvote when they were found to have violated campaign practices in the Saint Paul ballot campaign. There is nowhere in the USA where RCV has improved voter turn out, and no where that it has improved campaigns or made them less negetive. Its a sales pitch and nothing else. San Francisco has never reached the turn out levels they has before RCV. In Saint Paul voter turn out was down in lower income precincts and up in upper income precincts. It would have been interesting if Shultz would have looked at turnout by precinct in Mpls. When people mention Australia, remember there, voters are given the option to just make one vote for the party slate... and most voters do.

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davehougMay. 28, 1311:31 AM

What is wrong with the candidate with the most votes wins??? RCV elects a majority candidate like one more round would elect unaminously.

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boomerchickMay. 28, 1312:58 PM

Comment 229: There is reason to think that if MN had RCV in 1998, Coleman, not Ventura, would have ended up being elected. Humphrey would have been eliminated as the last-place finisher in the first round, and the outcome would have depended on the second-choice votes. Either way, would that result have truly reflected the will of the majority of voters? I think, at best, the jury is still out on RCV. I do think Prof. Schultz did a good job explaining why it's too soon to draw definitive conclusions after one election.

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comment229May. 29, 13 5:08 AM

boomerchick: diagree totally... your scenario would have given Ventura even more votes the first time around. I think the vote would have even been more overwhelming for a Ventura win. Simply, I cannot stand voting for a political party anymore and apparently, there are many more out there like me. We are called "independents" and our numbers grow every single year. I have no doubt, that independents will be the majority before long as long as the two main parties keep coming at us with figure heads.

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davehougMay. 29, 1312:43 PM

Politics: "Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate" :)

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