Mock election will let voters try out ranked-choice voting and get ready for Nov. 5 election

The City of Minneapolis will hold a mock election Sept. 5 through Sept. 16 to give voters a chance to try out ranked-choice voting, see new voting equipment, and make sure they’re ready for the Nov. 5 municipal election.

On Nov. 5, voters will elect a mayor and members of the City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board. In ranked-choice voting, voters can rank up to three candidates for each office. Because Minneapolis uses ranked-choice voting in its municipal elections, there is no Primary this year.

For the mock election, polling places will be set up in locations around the city. The City Hall mock polling place will be set up for voters for eight days, and polling places will be set up for one day each at four high schools across town.

Locations and days for the mock election are:

Minneapolis City Hall rotunda, 350 S. Fifth St. S.
Sept. 5 – 16, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day

Roosevelt High School cafeteria, 4029 28th Ave. S.
Sept. 9, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Patrick Henry High School cafeteria, 4320 Newton Ave. N.
Sept. 10, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Washburn High School cafeteria, 201 W. 49th St.
Sept. 11, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Edison High School small gym, 700 22nd Ave. NE
Sept. 12, from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Voters who stop in at one of the polling places can practice ranked-choice voting by marking a demonstration ballot in which they’ll be asked to rank city parks in a number of simulated races. They’ll also be able to use an AutoMark assisted-voting machine and get a first look at the new ballot counters that were recently purchased by Hennepin County, which will be used for the first time on Nov. 5. Voters can also get help finding out how to register to vote, where to vote, and have any of their elections questions answered.

The mock election will also be a chance for Elections & Voter services staff to test out the new ballot counters and tabulate results using the ranked-choice voting system. That tabulation will be done once voting wraps up on Sept. 16.

Helping the public get ready to vote

The City and its partners have created a number of ways for folks to get ready to vote and learn about ranked-choice voting before the election. The new website, vote.minneapolismn.gov, has everything residents need to know to register to vote, find your polling place, get an absentee ballot, volunteer to help, and how to use ranked-choice voting. Interactive content includes a new video explaining ranked-choice voting, including translations in multiple languages, and an interactive practice ballot to try out ranked-choice voting for yourself.

A network of community volunteers called Minneapolis Voter Ambassadors is out in the community, working to provide resources and information about this year’s election directly to their friends and neighbors. More volunteers are needed now to join the ambassadors. Training and materials will be provided. Being an ambassador can be as simple as talking to your friends and neighbors about the election and how ranked-choice voting works, or it can be more involved, by taking opportunities to participate in special events and presentations designed to help ensure all Minneapolitans are ready for the election.

To learn more about volunteering to be a Voter Ambassador, please visit vote.minneapolismn.gov/volunteer or call 612-673-2296.

Published Sep. 4, 2013