We have had years now of people seeking public office and promising to work across the aisle. We know it’s not true and we are in a state of permanent gridlock. In order to get true compromise to happen, we must reduce the negative and libelous attacks in the campaign process. The only way we know how to do that is ranked-choice voting.
Ranked-choice voting requires candidates to reach beyond their narrow base and appeal to a broader group of voters for second choices to win. They must build a majority coalition of common interests and then keep that coalition together to get re-elected. The process favors electing leaders who are responsive to concerns of the majority rather than to groups of single-issue voters.
Like any good change, it all starts locally. And democracy is on the ballot in two Minnesota cities this fall, Bloomington and Minnetonka, where voters will decide whether to adopt ranked-choice voting, a simple change to the ballot that fosters civility and gives voters more power and more choice.
The vast majority of voters are eager for a voting system that is less toxic and fosters compromise and problem-solving required for a well functioning government. We believe ranked-choice voting is the best first step we can take to achieve these goals, and Minnetonka is leading the way. Ranked-choice voting is a simple and achievable reform with big impact –exactly the kind of reform we should prioritize.
In addition to mitigating the extreme negativity in our elections, ranked-choice voting fosters greater voter participation, inspires more candidates with more ideas to run, and elects candidates with the broadest support. It draws voters to the polls by empowering them with more choice and the opportunity to fully express themselves.
Further, in municipal races, it eliminates the costly, low-turnout primary and combines the primary and general elections into one election in November when turnout is higher and more representative of the community.
We believe ranked-choice voting is the most effective tool to build civil, strong, reflective, responsive and civic-minded leadership – at all levels of government – for the challenges that lie ahead.
And so we are hopeful. We are hopeful because we see ranked-choice voting advocates on all sides of the political spectrum. This is not about party, it’s about the voters and that is why momentum for ranked-choice voting is building here in Minnesota and across the country. We look forward to passage of this important reform in Bloomington and Minnetonka – and on five other ballot measures across the country, including the states of Massachusetts and Maine.
By voting yes for ranked-choice voting in Minnetonka, you will not only improve your local elections, you will also create momentum for the movement to strengthen our democracy in our state and our nation.
We urge you to vote yes for ranked-choice voting on the ballot measure this fall.
A better future awaits us all.
Arne Carlson is a former Republican governor of Minnesota and Dave Durenberger is a former Republican US Senator from Minnesota.