Ranked-Choice Voting

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Ranked-choice voting (RCV) is a method of voting that allows voters to rank multiple candidates for the same office in order of preference. RCV can only be used to elect the offices of mayor and councilmember. It is not used in elections for the school board, county, state or federal offices. RCV combines the primary and general election into one event in November.

The St. Louis Park City Council unanimously approved Ordinance No. 2535-18 amending the city charter to allow for the use of ranked-choice voting in municipal elections. The ordinance took effect 90 days after passage and publication, according to law, on Aug. 15, 2018. The process by which a city can amend their charter is outlined in Minnesota Statute 410.12.

The earliest ranked-choice voting will be used in St. Louis Park is November 2019. 

The city council is now in the process of developing and writing a separate ordinance that will provide the rules for the administration of municipal elections. This process will occur in phases over the next few months. A tentative schedule for these discussions is below and is subject to change.  

 Meeting Date  Meeting type  discussion topics  Agenda items
 June 11, 2018  Study session
  • Basic definitions
  • Legal overview of process
  • Minneapolis model review

Read staff report

View presentation

 July 9, 2018  Study session
  • Ballot format
  • Number of rankings

Read staff report

View presentation

 Aug. 6, 2018  Special study session
  • Tabulation of votes
  • Write-in votes
  • Method of resolving ties

Read staff report

View presentation

 Sept. 4, 2018  Special study session
  • Voting systems
  • Testing
  • Equity and inclusion check-in
  • Reporting results
  • Post election review
  • Recounts

Read staff report

View presentation

 Nov. 13, 2018  Study session
  • Review draft ordinance (written report only)
 
 Nov. 19, 2018  Regular meeting
  •  First reading of ordinance
 
 Dec. 3, 2018  Regular meeting
  •  Second reading of ordinance
 

Contact

For more information on ranked-choice voting or to submit a comment, contact the city clerk at mkennedy@stlouispark.org

Updates

This page will be regularly updated with information concerning ranked-choice voting.

Additional information regarding the charter commission recommendation can be found in the charter commission minutes and agendas.

Additional information regarding the city council's action can be found in the city council agendas and minutes.

Timeline

Aug. 7, 2018

The St. Louis Park City Council met in study session and directed staff to establish the threshold that must be reached for a candidate to be elected as 50% + 1 of the total ballots cast for an office, require candidates who want their write-in votes to be counted to file a written request prior to the election, and to authorize the chief election official to resolve any ties that occur by lot. Read the staff report.

July 10, 2018

The St. Louis Park City Council met in study session and directed staff to include in the draft ordinance language that would allow voters to rank at least three (3), but not more than six (6) candidates for each municipal office on the ballot, in order of preference. This provides the city with flexibility in the future to potentially increase the number of rankings allowed when new equipment or technology is available to automatically tabulate beyond three (3) rankings. Read the staff report.

June 12, 2018

The St. Louis Park City Council met in study session and directed staff to continue moving forward with the development of an ordinance providing the rules of conduct for municipal elections. They authorized staff to follow the "Minneapolis model" when drafting the ordinance because the rules and procedures used in Minneapolis have been deemed legal by the courts and have been tested and proven to work in conjunction with the current voting equipment and administrative procedures in place in Hennepin County. Read the staff report.

May 8, 2018

The St. Louis Park City Council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance amending the City Charter to allow the for the use of ranked-choice voting in municipal elections to elect the offices of mayor and councilmember. Before ranked-choice voting can be used in St. Louis Park, the city council is required to develop and approve rules for the administration of municipal elections. This process will occur over the next six months. Read the official ordinance amending the City Charter

April 16, 2018

At its April 16, 2018, meeting, the St. Louis Park City Council approved by a vote of 7-0 an ordinance to amend the city charter to allow for the use of ranked-choice voting for municipal elections. The second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for May 7, 2018. Under state law, a unanimous vote of the council on both the first and second readings is required to pass the ordinance.

If the second reading is approved, the ordinance will officially become part of the St. Louis Park City Charter 90 days after passage and publication.

Approval of the ordinance to amend the city charter does not mean the city is ready to start using ranked-choice voting.

March 14, 2018

On March 13, 2018 the St. Louis Park Charter Commission met and adopted Resolution No. 18-01 recommending that the city council adopt a charter amendment by ordinance authorizing ranked choice voting.

Jan. 25, 2018

The schedule generated and approved by the charter commission in January for the public was as follows:

  • Expert Q&A panel: Feb. 13, 2018
    • Panelists were selected by the charter commission. View the panelist biographies.
    • Questions were from the charter commission. 
    • The public was welcome to attend to listen to the discussion.
    • To watch a recording of the session visit the city's YouTube channel.
  • Listening Session: March 6, 2018
    • The public was invited to attend and provide input to the charter commission on the topic of ranked-choice voting.
    • No formal business was conducted by the charter commission at this meeting.
    • Watch the session video
  • Charter commission meeting: March 13, 2018
    • The Charter Commission met to vote on a formal recommendation to the city council regarding ranked-choice voting. This meeting was open to the public, however, no public comment was taken by the commission at this meeting.
    • Watch the meeting video

All meetings were televised live on ParkTV Channel 17. Meetings are also available to watch on-demand through city cable channels and on YouTube

December 2017

Discussion continued on the topic of ranked-choice voting. The next regular meeting of the charter commission was scheduled for January.

October 2017

The charter commission met on Oct. 24, 2017, to review and discuss two possible charter amendments about municipal elections, one of which pertained to ranked choice voting. Following extensive discussion, the commission determined that more information and discussion was needed regarding the implementation of ranked choice voting before a recommendation could be made to the city council. The commission scheduled another meeting for Dec. 6, 2017, at 5:30 p.m., and directed staff to return with additional information in response to the questions raised by commission members.

Read the staff report and resolution.