Elections staff get first taste of counting ranked-choice votes

Minneapolis elections staff and judges are undergoing a dry run to experience first-hand the challenges and intricacies of ranked-choice voting.

Staff began running through 600 ballots last Wednesday. The ballots were pre-marked so that counters are being forced to go through the various phases of the ranked-choice process, which continues until candidates reach specific percentage thresholds.

Elections Director Cynthia Reichert said the point of the mock election is to help the city refine its materials and processes. Focus groups were brought in to weigh in on ballot design and usage.

As of Monday, the process continued in the Minneapolis elections warehouse, 732A Harding St. NE. It’s open to the public for viewing.

Citizens are expected to get their first official taste of ranked-choice voting, formerly known as instant-runoff voting, in the Nov. 3 election. Minneapolis will be the first municipality in the world to hand-count a ranked-choice multiple-seat election, Reichert said.

For more on ranked-choice voting, click here.