St. Paul Voters Poised for Another Successful RCV Election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.

In 2013, voters in St. Paul’s diverse Ward 1 demonstrated a deep and comprehensive understanding of Ranked Choice Voting, with over 72 percent of voters ranking at least two choices, and over half ranking three choices. Moreover, turnout in that ward was the highest it had been for a municipal election in eight years.

The grassroots-powered FairVote Minnesota voter outreach team has engaged voters over the phone and at festivals, community gatherings, and canvassing events – knocking on St. Paul doors nearly 24,000 times – throughout the year. They’ve also connected regularly with council candidates, offering tips on campaigning under RCV. Ranked Choice Voting incentivizes campaigning that tends to be more positive and issue-based; candidates are encouraged to seek common ground with rivals, as they may need second-choice votes from rivals’ supporters.

“We’ve had a great time talking to voters around St. Paul – and the benefits of these conversations extend beyond making sure people know how to rank their ballots,” says FairVote Minnesota St. Paul Coordinator Erik Anderson. “Every single one-on-one discussion increases voter familiarity with elections, heightens citizen engagement, and promotes higher election turnout. Simply put, this campaign has been terrific for local democracy.”

FairVote Minnesota staff and volunteers will be near many polling locations in Wards 2, 5, and 6 on Election Day, serving as a resource for voters who may have last-minute questions about Ranked Choice Voting. And Ramsey County Elections has trained hundreds of election judges who stand ready to help ensure voters are fully prepared to rank their ballots.

To learn more about RCV in St. Paul or to schedule an interview, please contact FairVote Minnesota Executive Director Jeanne Massey by phone at 612-850-6897 or by email at jeanne.massey@fairvotemn.org.