To the Editor:
I encourage Minnetonka voters to learn about the facts and data concerning ranked-choice voting and vote no on the proposed city charter amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot.
The City Council referred the issue of ranked-choice voting to the Minnetonka Charter Commission. As a member of the Charter Commission, I participated in extensive meetings where we reviewed over 800 pages of research and data on the use of ranked-choice voting; heard from advocates and opponents of ranked-choice voting, from election officials and many residents. After that review, the Charter Commission rejected the proposed ordinance.
I oppose ranked-choice voting because:
Ranked-choice voting will cost more for voter education and additional staff. There is no election equipment certified for use in Minnesota that will automatically count ranked-choice voting votes.
Ranked-choice voting does not consistently increase voter turnout, nor does it ensure an increase in candidates.
Ranked-choice voting encourages single issue candidates to run.
Ranked-choice voting is complicated. The voting is fairly simple. Counting votes is complicated, and if counting proceeds beyond the first round, it will result in exhausted ballots, eliminated from further counting.
If a candidate does not win in the first round, she/he will not, in many cases, win with a majority of votes.
Ranked-choice voting is not a proven method of voting in Minnesota. It is used in just three cities: Minneapolis, St. Paul and St. Louis Park. Some cities, including Duluth, have rejected ranked-choice voting.
Minnetonka’s current method of voting has resulted in a well-qualified, competent and diverse city council. We currently have a majority of women, including an African American woman, on the council.
The COVID-19 pandemic and state of emergency has prevented the time and attention necessary to consider changing the city charter, the city’s constitution. There will be no public meetings, forums or events, no opportunities for full public discussion.
Ranked-choice voting is costly, complicated, not proven to increase voter turnout and disenfranchises voters through exhausted ballots.
Ranked-choice voting is simply not needed Minnetonka. Vote NO.
Karen Anderson was mayor of Minnetonka from 1994-2006 and currently serves on the Charter Commission.