Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sharon,Bill Challenge Denial of IRV 3Nov09Election

St. Paul Instant Run-Off Voting Question (2009)

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The St. Paul Instant Run-Off Voting Question is a ballot measure that will appear on the November 3,2009 ballot in Ramsey County for St. Paul voters.

The question will ask whether voters want to change the way they elect city officials.[1]

In instant-runoff voting, also called ranked-choice voting, voters will rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gains a majority, the candidate with the least amount of support is dropped and the second-place votes cast by supporters of that candidate are added to the remaining candidates. This same process continues until one candidate gains a majority.

Previous attempts for IRV

In July 2008, under the threat of a lawsuit, the St. Paul City Council on voted against putting the Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV) question on the November 2008 ballot. During this time, IRV was deemed a controversial method, and city council members said it would probably violate the state's constitution.[2]

The St. Paul city attorney's office offered their opinion on IRV in a 10 page opinion, laying out an argument that stated the voting method would more than likely violate the Minnesota Constitution. Council members approved a separate resolution that called for the question to be put on the ballot if instant-runoff voting is found to be acceptable constitutional.[3]


  1. Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune, "St. Paul voters to get instant runoff question in November", June 24, 2009
  2. Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, "St. Paul instant-runoff voting question to stay off ballot", July 2, 2008
  3. Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune, "St. Paul advised not to consider instant-runoff election system", June 18, 2008

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