Recent News

Pioneer Press: St. Paul Ward 2 voter turnout increases

By Frederick Melo | November 11, 2015

On Election Day, 72 percent of voters in St. Paul's busiest city council race chose multiple candidates on their ranked-choice ballot.

The Ward 2 council race drew 5,738 voters -- a 6 percent increase over 2011, according to FairVote Minnesota, an organization advocating for ranked-choice voting within the state.

Rebecca Noecker won the six-way race with 2,391 first-choice votes and 2,782 total votes after successive votes were factored in. Nearly three-fourths of voters ranked candidates on their ballots.

While citywide turnout was down compared with four years ago, FairVote noted that turnout increased in Wards 2, 4 and 5, the wards with the most competitive races.

"In Ward 2, having six candidates running through Election Day drew more than 300 additional voters to the polls, a 6 percent increase over the last ward election in 2011," according to a statement from the organization.

For Immediate Release – Ward 2: Participation Increases, Winner Earns Mandate Under RCV

Nov. 10, 2015

Contact: Jeanne Massey, FairVote Minnesota Executive Director, 612-850-6897

Ward 2: Participation Increases, Winner Earns Mandate Under RCV 

ST. PAUL—With the vote reallocation for Ward 2’s RCV city council race finished – and the winner, Rebecca Noecker, emerging with 53 percent of votes in the final round after gaining many second- and lower-choice votes – the success of St. Paul’s third Ranked Choice Voting election is now definitive. 

Ramsey County Elections officials completed the vote reallocation process in just four hours on Monday. Noecker’s victory comes with a solid mandate, earned through reaching out to other candidates’ backers for a broad base of support. 

The reallocation process revealed that some voters did not include either of the two final candidates in their rankings. In this case the ballot was exhausted before the final round. While voters are advised to rank several choices, some only have a single preference and that’s the will of the voter. In the end, a full 72 percent of voters ranked at least two candidates.  

Star Tribune: Noecker wins runoff for St. Paul City Council seat

By James Walsh Star Tribune l NOVEMBER 9, 2015


Rebecca Noecker said her campaign for St. Paul City Council was “upbeat, positive and straightforward … [and] very open to courting second-choice votes.”

That part of her strategy proved decisive Monday, as the nonprofit education official and city planning commissioner was declared winner of the Second Ward seat after a runoff showed she received more second-choice ballots than her closest opponent, Darren Tobolt.

According to Ramsey County election figures, Noecker finished with 2,782 votes, putting her 338 votes ahead of Tobolt, a Ramsey County Board aide.

Release: For the Third Straight Time, RCV’s a Triumph in St. Paul


Nov. 4, 2015

Contact: Jeanne Massey, FairVote Minnesota Executive Director, 612-850-6897 

For the Third Straight Time, RCV’s a Triumph in St. Paul

ST. PAUL—An unprecedented direct voter outreach effort – in a city that’s already shown its comfort with and affinity for ranking the ballot in multicandidate races – helped make Tuesday’s city council election in St. Paul an overwhelming success for Ranked Choice Voting.

“We had over 6,000 conversations with voters on RCV, we provided tools for candidates about effective campaigning under RCV, and we worked with MN Voices to help boost participation in historically lower-turnout areas,” said St. Paul campaign manager Erik Anderson. “And it worked. St. Paul has fully embraced Ranked Choice Voting, and we’re seeing more civil, substantive, broadly engaging political contests as a result.”

FairVote Minnesota congratulates all the candidates who put forward their vision for a better St. Paul. In all but one race – Ward 2 – winners emerged with a majority of votes.

Memo: 2015 St. Paul City Council Elections and Ranked Choice Voting


To:  Candidates & Interested Parties

From:  Jeanne Massey, FairVote Minnesota Executive Director, 612-850-6897

Subject:  2015 St. Paul City Council Elections and Ranked Choice Voting

Date:  October 30, 2015

This memorandum will guide the reader through expectations in advance of the 2015 elections in St. Paul, where voters will use Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to elect city councilors. 

Where Might Rankings Beyond a Voter’s First Choice Matter? 

Rank your vote early tomorrow!

Start your Halloween off with a special treat: ranking your vote early for city council! Ramsey County Elections will be open tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., so why not get a head start and vote early? 
All you need to do is stop by Ramsey County Elections at 90 W. Plato Blvd. We can assure you there are no tricks involved, only treats (including plenty of free parking).
If Saturday doesn't work for you, you can also stop by on Monday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

St. Paul Voters Poised for Another Successful RCV Election


Oct. 20, 2015

Contact: Jeanne Massey, FairVote Minnesota Executive Director

Phone: (612) 850-6897

St. Paul Voters Poised for Another Successful RCV Election

ST. PAUL – After months of thoughtful, thorough education and outreach – including over 4,600 Ranked Choice Voting conversations in Wards 2, 5, and 6, all of which feature council races with multiple candidates – St. Paul voters are ready to rank their ballots on Nov. 3.

It’s St. Paul’s third local election using RCV, and the first with several competitive multicandidate races. Capital City voters showed their comfort with and affinity for ranking their ballots in 2011 and 2013; this year promises to be the best test yet for Ranked Choice Voting in St. Paul.

FairVote Minnesota Seeks GOTV Education Canvassers

FairVote Minnesota Foundation is seeking to hire canvassers from diverse communities to conduct direct outreach and education to voters in the final days before voters cast their ballots November 3rd.

Job description: Canvassers will work to educate and prepare St. Paul voters for the use of Ranked Choice voting in the City Council elections. This will take place through door-knocking in targeted areas of St. Paul.

Compensation: Canvassers will be contracted to work at $14 per hour.

GOTV Canvass Schedule

Friday Oct 30, afternoon training 4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday Oct 31, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday Nov 1, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Monday Nov 2, 1:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Election Day Nov 3, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Applicants who are not available for every shift will still be considered. Please note your availability when applying.

Desired Qualifications:

RCV Tip #10: Reaching Voters for the Second Time

This is the tenth in our series of weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. If your campaign has been measuring your support through your voter contact effort, RCV adds an additional dimension for consideration as you might begin to reach some of these voters for a second time.

More Depth to the Breaking of Undecided Voters

In a traditional election, a key measure campaigns may track when reaching voters for the second time is the rate at which previously undecided voters are now supportive. In a multicandidate race, it could benefit you to analyze not only the rate at which previously undecided voters now plan to you support you with a first choice, but also which voters have settled on a different first choice but will rank you as their second or lower choice. As discussed previously, these new lower choices will vary considerably in their value to your campaign depending on how you evaluate the strength of your opponents.

A Second Pass for Second Choices

RCV Candidate Tip #9: Encouraging Ranking Can Help You

This is the ninth in our series of weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. This week we consider how in a multicandidate race, you can benefit from encouraging voters to rank beyond a first choice and also discuss the downside of urging bullet voting.

No Benefit for Encouraging a Bullet Vote