Minnesota Supreme Court upholds IRV

The court today ruled that the instant runoff voting system Minneapolis plans to use this fall is constitutional.

Here’s more courtesy of MPR’s Curtis Gilbert:

A group called the Minnesota Voters Alliance had challenged the system as unconstitutional, but the state Supreme Court ruled that the group’s challenge lacks merit. Instant Runoff Voting allows voters to rank the candidates for a given office in order of preference.

In its opinion released today, the court said the system does not violate the constitutional principal of one-person, one-vote.

Minneapolis voters approved instant runoff voting by an overwhelming margin in 2006. It will affect only municipal offices like mayor, city council and park board.

In 1915, the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down another alternative voting system used in Duluth, but the court ruled today that the Minneapolis system does not present the same constitutional problems.

  • Isis

    IRV might work for a short time, but is there anything that will stop a voter from selecting the same candidate in all three columns?

    The strategy would be that their candidate would pick up votes from the second and/or third selections from other voters.

    Once this tactic becomes widely recognized, then everyone will do it and the run-off would change nothing.

  • Greg

    Isis, you’re mistaken. A ballot with the same candidate chosen in all three columns has the same effect as a ballot with the candidate in the first column and the second and third columns left blank. It does not benefit the candidate in any way to be marked multiple times on the same ballot. The voter would only be doing him or herself a disservice.