Without much organized opposition, supporters have been campaigning to adopt ranked choice voting in Duluth, but on Sunday, a citizen group announced it has launched a formal effort to oppose the ballot measure. Five city councilors announced last week that they opposed ranked choice voting and all are now members of a citizen group against a switch to ranked choice for mayoral and some city council seats. The “Keep Voting Simple — Vote No RCV Campaign” gathered on the Duluth City Hall steps to give remarks and field questions from reporters. Among those speakers, Mayor Don Ness who said, the current voting system is working for the city.
“In my mind, it’s a solution looking for a problem, and quite frankly, in the city of Duluth and our non-partisan elections we don’t have a problem,” Ness said.
Meanwhile, supporters of ranked choice said the method is an improvement and eliminates low turnout primaries. Robert Wahman with the Duluth Better Ballot Campaign said the Duluth mayoral primary in September with only 17 percent turnout is evidence that the current system isn’t working well.
“The preferences of this narrow slice has determined who we will get to chose form for our next mayor and city councilors,” Wahman said.