To the Editor:
It’s an election year in Minnetonka, but not for state or national races. It’s for local elections, which are arguably just as important. The choices your City Council and School Board make have a significant impact on your day-to-day life, and your vote really matters - in 2019, one election was decided by just 3 votes.
There will be 12 candidates on the ballot for Minnetonka City Council. There are two candidates for mayor, and five candidates each for the two at-large City Council seats. And, for the first time, we’ll be using ranked choice voting.
Ranked choice voting eliminates the costly, low-turnout primary, so you only have to go to the polls once. Instead of just picking your favorite candidate for each office, you can rank the candidates in your order of preference - first choice, second choice, third choice. If your favorite is eliminated in the instant runoff process, your vote will count toward your next choice on the ballot. If you vote for only one candidate, and that candidate is defeated, you have lost your opportunity to weigh in on the remaining candidates, and your ballot won’t continue to the final round - it would be as if you voted in a primary election and didn’t show up for the general election. In the end, the winning candidate will be the one who has a majority of continuing ballots. To learn more about ranked choice voting, visit RankYourVote.org.
You can learn more about the candidates by visiting their websites and social media pages. Because we’re using ranked choice voting to elect City Council members, consider not just your first choice but also your second and third choices as you learn about the candidates. Note that the school board election will not use ranked choice voting.
Early voting for local elections in Minnetonka starts this Friday, Sept. 17, and election day is Nov. 2. More information is available on the city of Minnetonka website. To see who’s on your ballot, request a mail-in ballot, locate your polling place or register to vote, go to MNvotes.org.