Last November, Bloomington voters approved the use of ranked choice voting for future city council and mayoral elections. Starting with the November 2, 2021 election, ranked choice voting will be used for municipal races. This changes how residents vote for mayor and city councilmember. This will not change how residents vote in federal, state, county or school board elections.
This fall, all Bloomington voters will see one of the councilmember at-large seats on their ballot. Voters in Council District 3 and Council District 4 will also see their councilmember on the ballot. In November 2023, the other councilmember at-large seat, all four council districts due to redistricting and the Mayor’s seat are next up for election.
The City will no longer hold primaries for city council elections, as all eligible candidates who file for office will 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.
Minneapolis, St. 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.
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.
On election night, first-choice votes are counted. If no candidate has a majority of the votes (more than 50%), the candidate with the fewest 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.
Practice ranked choice voting
Give ranked choice voting a trial run. The City is hosting a mock election Saturday, July 31, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and Monday, August 2 through Friday, August 6, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road. On the mock election ballot, voters will be able to rank their favorite City park, facility and elementary school. This is a great opportunity to have your ranked choice voting questions answered by elections staff.
As the November 2, 2021 election approaches, expect to see more information about ranked choice voting on City social media pages, the City website and in the Briefing. Read more about ranked choice voting at blm.mn/vote.