Will Minnetonka be first MN city to drop controversial ranked choice voting?

Just two years after Minnetonka voters approved ranked choice voting, the controversial alternative election process will be on the ballot again November 7. Ironically, a simple majority vote, yes or no, will decide whether the western suburb becomes the first Minnesota city to scrap the confusing ranked system after just one election.

Long after Minneapolis led the way by adopting ranked choice in 2006, KARE-11 and other media outlets still have to go to some lengths to explain the concept to viewers.

Ranked choice voting is a method where voters rank their preferences in a given race. If the top vote-getter receives a majority, they win. If not, candidates are then eliminated one by one in an instant run-off, round by round.

The way ranked choice voting works in Minnetonka is you can make a first choice, second choice and third choice on your ballot. After the ballots are counted, if no one has a majority, the lowest vote-getter is eliminated and they’re re-counted. But if your top three choices get eliminated — your ballot is no longer counted moving forward.

Yard signs on both sides of the issue dominate many Minnetonka streets. Surprised RCV advocates find themselves forced to mount another campaign just two years after bringing ranked choice to the city. The “Vote No on Repeal” website includes an endorsement from DFL Gov. Tim Walz.

By passing Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) in 2020, Minnetonka voters got rid of expensive city primaries where only 5% of voters participated, and combined two rounds of voting into a single “instant runoff” election in November, when turnout is higher and more representative of the community.

Minnetonka’s first RCV elections held in 2021 were a huge success:

Voters had more choices, the most candidates ever for a Minnetonka City Council election;

Voter turnout increased dramatically, up more than 50% than the average since 1985;

All winning candidates earned a majority in a single cost-effective election.

The “Yes 2 Repeal RCV” camp that garnered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot includes two previous Minnetonka mayors, as well as current Mayor Brad Wiersum.

We are a NONPARTISAN grassroots group of LOCAL, Minnetonka residents. We are Democrats, Independents and Republicans who came together to gather signatures to put the REPEAL of rank choice voting on the November 2023 ballot. We’ve made history in Minnetonka by being the first citizen led group to submit a successful petition.  TOGETHER we can make history once again as we all VOTE YES TO REPEAL rank choice voting and reinstate our fair and easy voting system to Minnetonka.

RCV is an expensive scam that’s simply not welcome in Minnetonka – let’s send it packing!

It’s not as though there’s been a groundswell of support for implementing RCV here. Just five Minnesota cities have adopted the system. The question is whether Minnetonka will still be on that list after Election Day.