I will not ask anyone in this city to vote for me first, second or third, but I hope that by the next time you vote in a city election that you will have as many choices as you want; in this particular election, I would like to have at least a dozen, but offering six, just as the City of St. Paul uses, would only take one more page with our 35 candidates on Nov. 5. I think it makes sense to vote for one of the so-called “major candidates,” third, just so one of your three choices count if you decide to use the first two choices for one of us “minor candidates.”
Instant runoff voting or as FairVote and the City of Minneapolis has chosen to call IRV/single transferable vote, ranked choice voting (all the voting methods ever used in this country are ranked choice voting), will give us a great deal of information about what people might be thinking about the issues and candidates campaigning on them, but there is a better way that will give us much more with as many candidates as care to pay the fee and gather as many signatures as the next Council may designate (state law suggests guidelines).
Score voting is probably familiar to most of you, but you may not realize that you have used it or seen it in action for most of your lives. If you have ever rated a movie on netflix or another rating system for something else using numbers of stars or some other symbols (Pinnochios for the Washington Post columnist who judges veracity of given political utterings), you have used score voting. If you’ve ever watched judged Olympic Games events as the judges reveal their scores and waited until their averages are calculated and announced, you’ve seen score or range voting in action. It is simple.
Once you hold a score voting election, there is no doubt about who voters prefer and that is the candidate who wins. How refreshing, yes?
A candidate reaches a threshold of ratings, 50% of ballots plus one, and her ratings will be averaged; if a candidate gets the best average of ratings, he wins. You can have a large range, 1-100, or you can have a small range, 0-1; it does not matter, but I’d like to see 0-9 or 0-5. We would run down the list of candidates and fill the bubbles for our rating for each, or not perhaps. At the end, we’d have not only a winner, but a record of just what we thought of every candidate; I think that is quite useful information, e.g., if a candidate won with an average of 3 in a range of 0 to 9, he’d not assume a mandate for much of anything.
As I’ve stated before, I don’t really want to be mayor; but I don’t want anyone else to be mayor, either. It is not really a contradiction; if you, like me, want to eliminate the office of mayor, then vote for me and let your Council member know what you want and should I win, we will have it done within a few months.
If I don’t win, and I expect this will happen, you can work with me to change the charter by citizen petition to vote on the matter with no distractions from the candidates anointed by the media based on the campaign cash given by gawd knows who. They cannot ignore a charter amendment like this.
We can run local election campaigns with a pittance–I’m up to $66.30 for mine–if we simply had reasonable press coverage. We don’t have that at all as it is based on how well one grovels for campaign cash: that stinks.