Ballot questions to consider in November
Several issues will come before Bloomington voters in the General Election on Tuesday, November 3. Ballot questions will address organized garbage collection and ranked-choice voting.
Garbage and recycling
Residents will be able to vote on the way solid waste (garbage, recycling, yard waste and more) is collected in the city. This is a result of the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling on a case brought by five residents to challenge the method used in the City to change from a system of open solid waste collection to a system of organized solid waste collection.
The first ballot question will ask if the City Charter should be amended to require residents to vote before the City can change the way solid waste is collected. The ballot will also include a second question asking if the current City-organized solid waste collection system should continue. The outcome of the second question is contingent upon the outcome of the first question.
Current residential garbage and recycling service will continue as normal. If any changes are needed after the election, information will be provided to residents.
The City Council held a public hearing on the issue at its May 18, 2020 meeting and then unanimously forwarded the proposed ballot question to the City’s Charter Commission, where another public hearing was held on June 11, 2020. On July 9, the Charter Commission voted to reject the proposed amendment to the City Charter by a vote of 7-5. However, the Charter Commission’s action is only advisory to the City Council. On July 27, the City Council voted to proceed with placing the question on the ballot for the General Election.
Ranked choice voting, also called “instant runoff voting” or “preferential 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.