Rochester Charter Commission considers ranked-choice voting - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Rochester Charter Commission considers ranked-choice voting

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Rochester city leaders are discussing changing the way you vote in local elections.

The city's Charter Commission considered Tuesday whether to have a public hearing about ranked-choice voting.

Ranked-choice voting means voters don't just vote for one candidate per race; instead, they rank each candidate in the order of how much they support him or her.

According to Rochester's City Clerk, it eliminates the need for a primary and allows for a larger pool of candidates in each race. 

It also helps make sure winners have support from most voters.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are the only cities in Minnesota that use this method.

The commission voted to table the issue at this time, and wait to learn more about it.

Many people who came to support ranked choice voting expressed their disappointment.

"I feel like this is not a partisan issue," said Paul Johnsen of Rochester. "I think its something everyone should be able to get behind. I don't think it favors one party or another, it probably favors third parties more than anything. But one thing I think it favors is cooperation."

The commission decided to meet in mid-February to further discuss ranked choice voting, then decide at another meeting whether to organize a public hearing.

If ranked choice voting ultimately takes effect in Rochester, municipal elections would need to switch to odd numbered years -- so that different types of voting wouldn't happen on the same ballot.

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