By Austin Blanch
When Bernie Sanders did not receive the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, many of us faced difficult emotions. Through that disappointment, we have come together on important issues and questions affecting our lives, despite differing allegiances.
We can all agree that we need to change the way our politics work, while strengthening the voices of voters. That’s why Our Revolution MN members have chosen to support Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) across the state of Minnesota.
RCV is already being used in Minneapolis and St. Paul (and several other cities across the country) for municipal elections like mayor and city council – and our aim is to get it adopted for our state and federal elections.
RCV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference – 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc., empowering us to vote our hearts and not our fears. We can cast a vote for our favorite candidate, knowing it won’t be wasted but instead counted for our second choice if our first can’t win.
RCV ensures leaders are elected with the broadest support possible and from coalitions of diverse communities and interest groups. Under RCV, candidates are forced to step outside of their narrow base of support and appeal to all voters. Because candidates must vie for second-choice votes, we actually get to hear them talk about the issues we care about instead of constant mudslinging and negative campaigning that the current system rewards.
With RCV, we get better results, new voices who can talk about what’s happening in our community, and we’ll no longer have to choose between a candidate we consider to be the lesser of two evils. A stronger vote that avoids acting as a spoiler and helps compete with money in politics. Moreover, RCV helps reduce the need for PACs and big money because candidates win through grassroots coalition building, not expensive attack mailing and T.V. ads, which actually cost candidates votes.
RCV can actually change the way campaigning happens at all levels of government by creating a more civil, respectful, and inclusive stage. It all starts with us, the little people, the activists and organizers, and our dialogues with neighbors. Let’s work for a better democracy – one that lets all voters vote their conscience and creates the discourse we need to make Minnesota a better place for everybody.