Minn. Supreme Court clears way for new Mpls. voting


The Minnesota Supreme Court has cleared the way for a new voting system in Minneapolis this fall.

In a decision released Thursday morning, the state Supreme Court deemed ranked-choice voting, also known as instant runoff voting, constitutional by rejecting a challenge brought by the Minnesota Voters Alliance. The alliance argues that the process violates “one person, one vote,” and deemed the process unconstitutional.

The ruling falls in line with that of the Hennepin County District Court, which reached the same conclusion in January this year.

Ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank their choices as first, second and third preferences in contests with multiple candidates. The counting process for ranked-choice voting starts by election officials tallying up the first preference candidates. If a candidate gains a majority through first preference, that candidate is elected. If there is no clear winner, the lowest ranking candidate’s votes are distributed and the ballots are recounted. The process is repeated until a candidate receives a majority.

Minneapolis voters approved the new method in 2006, and the city plans to use it in the Nov. 3 elections for City Council, mayor and several city boards.

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