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Letter: Go with ranked-choice voting next city election

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To the Editor:

In support of a recent letter endorsing ranked-choice voting (R-E, June 12), I add the following thoughts.

Our mayoral election pitted six candidates for our vote in a single election. The winner unofficially took 945 of 2,445 votes cast or roughly 38 percent of the vote. This is in the same electoral territory that Jesse Ventura won the governorship in 1998.

None of our mayoral candidates supported ranked-choice voting. They, and Red Wing at large, should really consider that position. Why? Because the simple truth is that more people voted against the winner than for him.

First-past-the-post elections do not create representation. They empower focused minorities of voters to game the system, especially in special elections or primaries.

Our biggest cities already have taken the first step in electing representatives with support of the people. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have conducted successful city elections using ranked-choice voting. Right now, Minneapolis is in the midst of a mayoral campaign. Voters have nine candidates to contend with in their election. They also enjoy ranked-choice voting to ensure that the winner gets the support of the majority of voters.

The mayoral candidates wholeheartedly support ranked-choice voting. In fact, self-described independent Republican mayoral candidate Cam Winton sees ranked-choice voting as "a wonderful development for someone who wants to bring fresh thinking. It enables someone like to me to build coalitions across the political spectrum."

Our recent mayoral election, the past and upcoming Minneapolis elections, are a testament to why ranked-choice voting works. It allows the most voters to choose from a number of candidates most efficiently. It allows voters to vote their conscience first without sacrificing their vote to another candidate not to their thinking. It allows the most compelling voices to be heard.

We should work to implement ranked-choice voting at the municipal level here in Red Wing so that our future representatives are elected by a majority of our voters. We have many examples of elections with winners with less than a majority. How about elections where we can pick who the majority of us like the most?

Evan Brown

Red Wing

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