Ranked choice voting helped the Minneapolis wreck
Minneapolis was once known for its innovative and progressive policy solutions. It produced national political leaders such as Hubert H. Humphrey and Walter Mondale. Over the past year, however, Minneapolis has become better known as a mismanaged city adrift of politically correct power from the crowd. How did this once great city fall so quickly?
In 2009, Minneapolis adopted preferential voting, then an untested method of electing city officials. It was sold to voters as a way to increase voter turnout and improve the tone of political campaigns. In fact, this has had little positive effect on the campaigns and their messages, and voter turnout remains low. The corrosive effect of the preferential vote on democratic legitimacy is in part responsible for the current dire situation in Minneapolis.
In the Minneapolis mayor election in 2017 (which was the third to use a ranked choice), the turnout was only 43%. The winner of this race at 16 was Jacob Frey, who prevailed after six counting laps that lasted 24 hours. He became mayor when he was the first choice of only 25% of voters.
Mr. Frey’s most notable achievement in the first term was doing nothing last May as rioters burned and looted more than 1,300 buildings, causing damage estimated at $ 500 million. He suggested that the destruction of the city was a justifiable social justice action. When a police station was reduced to ashes, he expressed no particular concern. He took the time for a live television interview on MSNBC.