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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

RCV May Be A Threat To The Establishment - But Is That Bad?

Category: IRV Voting
Posted: 12/20/13 02:04

by Dave Mindeman

Eric Black, at Minnpost, postulated that there is a DFL establishment dislike for ranked choice voting...although not a public dislike.

I think that is very possible.
Ranked Choice allows for stronger minority opinions. It allows an opportunity for a real populist movement. Under our current voting system, the establishment politicos can filter those populist movements. Minority movements have to push against the grain for 2 to 3 cycles to ever get a foothold....and sometimes the establishment will simply absorb some of the populism to block full progress.

Ranked Choice gives minority populism a full hearing. They get a full campaign to establish and defend their ideas...and because of the 2nd and 3rd choices, the negative campaigning gets thwarted as well....keeping all of it more issue oriented.

I think the biggest obstacle to ranked choice is not its threat to party establishment, but rather the need for better technical mechanics to implement it. Granted, the Minneapolis Mayoral race was a logistical nightmare with so many candidates - but there certainly can be an approved software mechanism to make the counting more user friendly.

Black talks about some establishment feelings regarding RCV....not for full public consumption, but still out there.....

The deep permanent DFL establishment crowd dislikes RCV. Some think it's bad for the DFL as a party, some think it's bad for the power of the establishment within the DFL.

It is probably more of a "bad for the power of the establishment" reasoning, because of course they would automatically think that if it is bad for them, then it is also bad for the Party. They don't like it because it can't be controlled as easily as our current rigid Party structure. Things are orderly and more predictable in our current system, but RCV lets the wild cards play. Sometimes that's good and sometimes its bad - but it always allows issues to dominate....and frankly, that seems more like real democracy.

Black points out a number of reasons for establishment mistrust of RCV, but most of them use the Minneapolis mayoral contest as the means for that reasoning. The reality is that a race like that - with that many candidates - is more of an anomaly than an example to derive any long standing ideas from.

Before we draw any deep conclusions about RCV, we need to watch it work in more races. The cities and school boards are the likely testing grounds. So let us watch and learn.

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Who Are These People?

Category: IRV Voting
Posted: 06/17/11 14:28

by Jim Dooley

Who are these people who claim that there is election fraud everywhere you look? That we need to make it more difficult for seniors, the handicapped, and students to vote? That say that government spends too much money, yet require government to "reform" election systems that are the model of the country, costing all units of government thousands of dollars? The ballot by ballot recount of millions of ballots in the Coleman-Franken race proved there is no fraud.

Now these same people are placing fake candidates on the ballots in districts in Wisconsin where GOP state senators are up for recall, just to try and confuse people with dishonesty and charades. This also costs the taxpayers a great deal of money. Who are these dishonest, win at all costs, people? It is the Republican Parties of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The party of "Honest Abe" Lincoln, who must be turning in his grave.
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IRV in Minneapolis: Pathway to True Majority Rule in Elections

Category: IRV Voting
Posted: 06/11/09 19:05

by Dave Mindeman

The Supreme Court has ruled. No, not on the Franken/Coleman contest. If that had happened it would already be old news by the time you read about it here.

No, this is about Instant Runoff Voting. The MN Supreme Court has ruled that it meets constitutionality requirements and the Minneapolis city election will be moving forward with this method in the 2009 elections.

This is a major step forward to the ultimate goal of full majority elections. It is also important that the first test of IRV happens in a smaller scale city election.

Because there are some caveats.

Assurances have been made that the Minnesota optical scan system can be converted to an IRV vote tabulation. However, it does not seem to be a very simple process and will probably require feeding ballots through the machines multiple times in very close elections.

I hope that the first round of this method goes smoothly, because I doubt that the voting machine companies are going to produce dedicated IRV vote tabulation machines until the method gets more widespread support.

I would not envy the Minneapolis officials to conduct a hand count in an IRV setting. It most certainly can be done, but it will be time consuming and, as we are all aware, the voting public is getting a little tired of delays in completing elections.

About 6 months ago, FairVote Minnesota (an IRV support group) put out a call to pre-empt problems by adopting clear guidelines:

Minnesota law also allows for state certification of voting equipment, but the Secretary of State must develop and seek governor approval for administrative rules to guide this process, the timeline for which is uncertain.

The Minnesota Secretary of State's Office should move forward in creating and approving rules for state certification as quickly as possible. The EAC (Federal Elections Assistance Commission) process is unreliable and state certification may be required for any new equipment purchased in Minnesota, including IRV capable equipment for elections in cities that adopt IRV for use in 2010 and beyond.

I am currently not aware if those administrative rules have been put in place... but if they haven't, we need to make that a priority for the 2009 election process.

The Governor's office has never supported IRV and has had little incentive to problem solve the issue. Minneapolis will probably have to prepare on its own. The rest of the state will be watching.

So with the Supreme Court's blessing, let's move ahead to a new era of true "majority rule" in Minnesota.

Good luck and God speed to Minneapolis elections.

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