Though St. Paul residents approved ranked-choice voting in a 2009 referendum, it may be heading for a vote in St. Paul again. Opponents of ranked-choice voting, also called instant-runoff voting, say it has unnecessarily delayed results and hasn’t delivered on supporters’ promises. They’re going to make their case to put it back before voters as soon as November. “It promises a lot of things and it doesn’t deliver on any of them,” says Chuck Repke, a neighborhood activist, one-time city council staffer and political activist.
He’s leading the ranked-choice repeal effort with a plea to a St. Paul Charter Commission committee Monday, asking it to restore a primary for municipal elections. That election used to narrow the field to two nonpartisan opponents in general elections.
Backers of ranked-choice voting said it could help boost turnout, make campaigns less negative and diversify the electorate. They’re fighting the repeal and say it’s too soon to dismiss the potential benefits.