The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a decision in a case regarding a proposed charter amendment related to ranked choice voting in Bloomington. The decision means there will be no change in November’s municipal elections. Voters in Bloomington will use ranked choice voting to select city candidates on the ballot.
The case arose out of a proposed charter amendment submitted by a group of five residents to repeal ranked choice voting and to require a two-thirds vote to reinstate ranked choice voting in the City’s municipal elections. A district court determined that the two-thirds vote requirement to reinstate ranked choice voting was manifestly unconstitutional.
Six justices wrote the majority opinion that held the district court and the City properly declined to place the entire proposed charter amendment on the ballot and that it would be improper for the court to sever or remove the unconstitutional provision because it was integral to the purpose of the amendment.
The Supreme Court said that the purpose of the proposed amendment was clearly two-fold: to repeal ranked choice voting and prevent it from being reinstated in future elections. Given the importance of the unconstitutional provision, the Court was unable to conclude that the residents of Bloomington who supported and signed the petition would have done so if the proposal did not include the severed provision.