Recent News

RCV Candidate Tip #8: Building Coalitions

This is the eighth in our series of weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. This week we consider the potential benefit of building coalitions in a multicandidate race.

RCV Presents an Upside

In a traditional election there tends to be little to gain from positioning yourself as similar to another candidate since a voter’s only action is to pick their first choice. Under RCV in a race with several candidates, the opportunity emerges for you to benefit from aligning with other candidates. First choices are still the most important and you shouldn’t distract from what makes you the best candidate, but RCV also allows you to emphasize what you have in common with your opponents.

Positioning to Win Lower Choices

RCV Candidate Tip #7: Candidate Forums

This is the seventh in our series of weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. WIth candidate forums scheduled or underway all around St. Paul, this week we consider the implications of RCV on these events.

More to Gain from Common Ground

For those of you in Wards 2, 5, and 6, where you might face two or more other candidates in these forums, RCV should provide more value in finding agreement or common ground. Especially when you consider that many voters attend these events with a predetermined first choice, these forums should be an effective place to aim to pursue second choices. While you still might benefit from emphasizing points of contrast, RCV should give you more to gain when presented with a genuine opportunity to agree with other candidates.

Consider the Downside of Attacks

Pioneer Press Letter: As Absentee Voting Begins

Paul Pioneer Press, 9/21/2015

As Absentee Voting Begins

I'm delighted St. Paul is a Ranked Choice Voting city. As absentee voting begins, I'm mindful of a really important reason to be thankful for it.

Under the old plurality system, we had two consecutive elections: a primary with pitiful participation followed by the November general election. Voters either went to the polls twice -- or, if they were voting absentee from out of the country, had to worry that time and postal constraints might prevent their vote from being counted.

Dave Pinto: Ranked-choice voting: It's easy as 1-2-3

Last month, several cities around Minnesota held municipal primary elections -- most with single-digit voter turnout. Not St. Paul.

That's because for the third municipal election cycle, St. Paul voters are using Ranked Choice Voting (sometimes simply called Ranked Voting), which rolls the primary and the general into one election in November when a larger -- hopefully much larger -- group of voters gets to identify their first-choice, second-choice and third-choice candidates from a more diverse pool of contenders.

RCV Candidate Tip #6: Training Your Campaign Team on RCV

This is the sixth in our series of weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. Today I offer to train your campaign team and volunteers on talking to voters about Ranked Choice Voting and the election. While voters in St. Paul have found RCV easy to use and understand, previous turnout patterns suggest that around one quarter of 2015 voters will be new to RCV, having not voted in either 2011 or 2013. If you anticipate that some of these new voters will be among your supporters, ideally the folks talking to voters on your behalf should be ready to answer questions about RCV.

Relevant to Campaigns in Every Ward

I am hoping that this will not only be of interest to campaigns in Wards 2, 5, and 6, where voters’ second and lower choices might decide the winner. The ballots are printed with rankings available for the number of candidates plus 1 (for a write-in) up to 6. This means that every St. Paul voter will see a ranked ballot, even if the race is sure to be decided by first choices alone.

RCV Candidate Tip #5: Can we host a fun ranked vote at your event?

This is the fifth in our series of weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. This week we offer to host a ranked vote at one of your upcoming campaign events. We just finished up 12 days at the state fair where over 1,000 Minnesotans had a blast ranking their favorite fair food. We’ll be announcing the winning food later this week, but until then I would like to extend an invitation to hold a similar ranked vote at one of your events.

In past years we’ve had a great time holding ranked votes on a light topic at candidate events. We agree on what to vote on beforehand, often the event’s food (best appetizer, best dessert, etc.) I then show up with ranked ballots, help your guests vote, and announce the winner at the end. It provides a fun activity for attendees and an opportunity to make sure your supporters understand RCV. This can be a nice addition to just about any event, especially a fundraiser or meet and greet.

RCV Tip #4: Get ready to start asking for lower-choice support

This is the fourth of our weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. This week we discuss the importance of being prepared to ask for second and lower choices. Keep in mind that it takes at least three candidates for it to be possible for these second and lower choices to determine the winner, so these suggestions will only be helpful for those of you running in wards 2, 5, and 6.

Why ask for more than first choices

FairVote Minnesota Seeks Part-Time Voter Education Canvassers

FairVote Minnesota Foundation is seeking to hire canvassers from diverse communities to conduct direct outreach and education to voters in St. Paul in preparation for the Ranked Choice Voting elections this November. Work will begin immediately and last through Election Day.

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 fall. This will primarily take place through door-knocking in targeted areas of St. Paul but may also include phoning and outreach at community events. As these efforts will be most effective at the times more voters are in their homes, canvassers will be expected to conduct much of their work during evenings and weekends.

Compensation: Canvassers will be contracted to work at $14 per hour and 12-18 hours per week.

Desired Qualifications:

RCV Tip #3: RCV Messaging and Your Website

This is the third of our weekly tips about campaigning under Ranked Choice Voting. This week, we offer three ways your website can benefit from considering RCV.

Explain RCV

Your website is an easy place to include an explanation of RCV to eliminate any possible confusion among your supporters and make sure they understand the importance of giving you their first-choice vote. Your website may already include other resources on voting information for your supporters and a quick explanation of RCV is a useful addition to this. Attached is a brief explanation of RCV in St. Paul that can be easily added to your website or any other campaign communication.

In addition, a link to our website or the Ramsey County Elections page on RCV can help an interested supporter learn even more about the process.