Changes made to Ranked Choice Voting process that will speed up some election results

The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak today approved changes to the City’s elections ordinance that will allow some final election results to be available on election night. In the Nov. 5 municipal election, Minneapolis voters will use Ranked Choice Voting for the second time. In Ranked Choice Voting, voters rank their three top choices for each municipal office.

The changes to the elections ordinance mean that election night machine counts will be used in cases where the winner can be determined from a count of only the first-choice votes. Previously, a hand count had to be conducted for each race before a winner could be declared. With this change, a hand count will not be done when the results of the first choice votes are all that is needed to determine the winner. This makes it more likely that results for some races will be available on election night.

Races in which a winner cannot be determined from first choice votes alone will still need to be hand counted, and those winners will not be declared on election night. In those cases, the City will still post tallies of the votes for each candidate for each round of counting.

The changes to the elections ordinance also require write-in candidates requesting an individual count of votes to file with Elections and Voter Services at least seven days before an election. This will reduce the amount of time it will take to process and count each write-in vote after the election.

Another change will simplify the rules for determining voter intent. In general, this means that when a ballot has an overvote, two votes for the same candidate, a skipped ranking, or an undervote, the next highest-ranked continuing candidate will be advanced in the tabulation process. This will help minimize the number of exhausted ballots and also ensure that every vote can be properly counted.

Published May 24, 2013



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