Court approves Instant Runoff Voting for Minneapolis

The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld Minneapolis's instant runoff voting system.
MPR File Photo/Curtis Gilbert

The Minnesota Supreme Court has cleared the way for Minneapolis to use a new system called Instant Runoff Voting for its city elections this fall.

A group called the Minnesota Voters Alliance had challenged the system as unconstitutional, but the state Supreme Court ruled that the group's challenge lacks merit.

Instant Runoff Voting allows voters to rank the candidates for a given office in order of preference -- first choice, second choice, third choice.

In its opinion released today, the court said the system does not violate the constitutional principal of one-person, one-vote.

Minneapolis voters approved instant runoff voting by an overwhelming margin in 2006. It will affect only municipal offices such as mayor, city council and park board.

In 1915, the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down another alternative voting system used in Duluth, but the court ruled today that the Minneapolis system does not present the same constitutional problems.

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