Ranked choice voting passed: Now what?

In November, fifty-one percent of voters approved ranked choice voting for future City Council and mayoral elections. Ranked choice voting will be used for municipal elections starting in November 2021. This changes how you vote in mayoral and city councilmember elections. This will not change how you’ll vote in federal, state, county or school board elections.

After adopting ranked choice voting for municipal elections, the City will no longer hold a primary election in August of odd-numbered years, as all eligible candidates who file for office would appear on the general election ballot. The City’s existing election equipment, including ballot counters, are compatible with ranked choice voting and will not have to be replaced.

What is ranked choice voting?

Sometimes referred to as “instant runoff voting” or “preferential voting,” ranked choice voting is a process that allows voters to rank their choices for each office.

First-choice votes are counted. If no candidate has a majority of the votes (more than 50%), the candidate with the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated. Voters who picked the eliminated candidate as their first choice have their second choice vote counted instead. This process repeats until one candidate has a majority.

Where is it currently used?

In Minnesota, Minneapolis, Saint Paul and St. Louis Park currently use ranked choice voting for municipal elections. It is also used in various other jurisdictions around the country. Voters in Minnetonka also opted for ranked choice voting in the 2020 election. 

Learn more

Expect to see more information about ranked choice voting as the 2021 election approaches on City social media pages, the City website and in the Briefing. Read more about ranked choice voting at blm.mn/rcv.