Instant Runoff Voting Implementation Update #1
January 3, 2007
Minneapolis voters approved Charter Amendment No. 161 adopting Instant Runoff Voting as the method to be used by the City of Minneapolis in conducting its Municipal Elections. This report is first a series of updates that will be created as the Elections Department moves forward with implementation.
For additional information regarding Instant Runoff Voting, please visit the Election Department website or call us at (612) 673-2070.
In late January Elections Department staff will be meeting with our Communications Department to begin working on a public education campaign. A link to IRV information is located on the Elections Department home page which will also be updated regularly as we move forward.
Development of IRV Uniform Standards
Because many provisions regarding conduct of elections contained in MN Statute and Rules do not apply in an IRV situation, the Charter was modified to explicitly state general election laws do not apply. Instead, the amendment requires the City to adopt an ordinance outlining the rules for conduct of an IRV election.
Currently, all election systems certified for use in Minnesota are based on Minnesota General Election Law. Without uniform standards cities that choose to adopt IRV may adopt different rules in their individual ordinances. This translates into higher development costs for equipment vendors which must create custom programs for each jurisdiction. Different rules for conduct of municipal elections adopted by cities within the same county-wide system would create confusion and complicate the certification process.
It is in Minneapolis’ best interest to seek legislation setting state-wide standards for conduct of municipal IRV elections. The adoption of standards will help to avoid future legal challenges and will smooth the way for research and development by voting equipment manufacturers. Toward that end, Elections Department staff is working with Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to work on statewide standards for conduct of Municipal IRV elections.
The Elections Department is proposing to run the first IRV municipal election in fall of 2009. As stated earlier, that target date is dependent upon many factors. The next possible date of implementation will be 2013.
Charter Amendment No. 171 contains a clause which allows the City Council to certify we are not ready to implement if the situation warrants. If a decision is made in 2009 to delay implementation the Council must state the reasons why we are not ready. Later in 2007, a discussion will take place with the City Council regarding factors to consider in making the "Go/No-Go" decision in 2009.
Cynthia D. Reichert
Director of Elections
Assistant City Clerk
Last updated Mar. 28, 2012