Ranked Choice Voting is a way of voting that eliminates the need for separate primary elections. On Election Day, voters rank up to three candidates for each municipal office.
Ranked Choice Voting is used for all Minneapolis municipal offices: Mayor, City Council, Board of Estimate and Taxation, and Park and Recreation Board (both at-large and by district.)
Ranked Choice Voting is NOT used for elections for the Minneapolis School Board, county, state or federal offices.
Minneapolis voters may rank up to three candidates for single and multiple seat municipal offices. Each ballot has three columns. In each office, voters complete the ballot from left to right, indicating their first choice for each race in the first column. If voters wish, they can rank second and third choices.
2013 Educational fliers on how to vote using Ranked Choice Voting
Ranked Choice Voting - One page flier - English (pdf)
Ranked Choice Voting - One page flier - Español / Spanish (pdf)
Ranked Choice Voting - One page flier - Hmoob / Hmong (pdf)
Ranked Choice Voting - One page flier - Soomaaliga / Somali (pdf)
Ranked Choice Voting - One page flier - Oromiffaa / Oromo (pdf)
Ranked Choice Voting - One page flier - Tiêng Viêt / Vietnamese (pdf)
Ranked Choice Voting - Two page flier - Lao (pdf)
Instructions provided to voters at the polling place in 2013
Polling Place Instructions for Completing a Ranked Choice Voting Ballot - English (pdf)
After the polls close, election officials count all of the first choice votes to see if any one candidate has more than the required threshold of votes to win. In single seat races, the threshold is 50% of the ballots cast plus 1, or more than half the votes cast. If a candidate gets more than half of the votes in a single seat race, that candidate is declared the winner.
If no candidate received more than the required threshold of first choice votes, the ranked choice process kicks in. The candidate who received the lowest number of votes is eliminated, along with any candidates who have no mathematical possibility of winning. Their votes are reallocated based on the second-choice votes on those ballots. If that process leaves one candidate with more than the required threshold of votes, that candidate is declared the winner.
If there's still no candidate with more than the required threshold of votes, the candidate remaining with the lowest number of votes is eliminated, and his or her votes are reallocated based on the next remaining ranking on those ballots. If a voter's second choice candidate was already eliminated, their third choice gets the vote. This process continues until one candidate reaches the threshold of required votes, and that candidate is declared the winner.
For more information:
Counting a Ranked Choice Voting Election - English two page flier (pdf)