Ranked Choice Voting to Appear on November Ballot

City Councilors to Hold Special Meeting, Determine Wording of Ballot Question

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An organization, called Fair Vote Minnesota, has petitioned throughout Duluth and received more than 1,600 signatures, which was the magic number, and now puts the question of ranked choice voting on the ballot this November.

Now it’s the city councilors’ job to determine the language of that question and how it’s worded on the ballot.

Councilor Joel Sipress believes the term ‘ranked choice voting’ encompasses two different voting systems.

The first is called ‘instant runoff voting’ and is the method used in races electing one person, like the Mayor or district councilors.

The second, is called ‘single transferable voting,’ a system designed for races electing multiple people at the same time, like the at–large city councilors.

His hope is to clarify those differences for voters.

“To me, using the term ‘ranked choice voting’ to refer to two different voting systems, is confusing, because you’re calling two different things the same thing,” Sipress explained.

At-Large City Councilor Linda Krug, however, believes doing that would only complicate the question for voters.

She says those differences were explained throughout the petitioning process, and the term ‘ranked choice voting’ is what the ballot should read.

“Here’s the reality – you go into the voting booth, you get to vote for your first, second and third vote, now how complicated is that?” Krug said.

The matter was tabled at Monday night’s city council meeting, but the wording must be decided upon before August 21.

The council is holding a special meeting this Friday to finalize how the question reads.

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