In November, voters in the St. Paul City Council election will be able to choose up to six candidates per seat, ranked in order of preference. In other words, downtown residents could conceivably vote for all five candidates who have filed to run for office in Ward 2.
Nov. 8 will mark the city's first experience with the new "ranked voting" system, otherwise known as "instant run-off voting" or "ranked-choice voting," which was supported by voters in a ballot question last year. . .
Jim Ivey, former political chair for the Green Party of Minnesota, said ranked-choice voting has boosted his party's chances at the polls. He thinks the Green Party will no longer be looked upon as a potential "spoiler" in tight races.
"We worked for years to make this happen," said Ivey, a Lowertown resident who is running for city council in Ward 2. "The Green Party was a key supporter. It's strategic for creating a third-party presence in local politics. It gives people a chance to vote for what they really believe in, and know that there's no risk in doing that....It's great for us."
It's been such a draw, in fact, that the party has recruited a slate of local candidates, some of whom have no previous Green Party affiliation but share the party's "progressive" values, Ivey said.