Ranked Choice Voting Goes Nowhere in Brooklyn Park
By Andrew Richter
Liberal groups continue to push “ranked choice voting” but it appears to have no support in Brooklyn Park.
Ranked choice voting, where citizens vote for first-, second- and third-choice candidates running for election, doesn’t appear to have much support from the Brooklyn Park City Council. During the council’s annual meeting with the chairmen of the city’s commissions on June 8, Charter Commission Chair Jessica Bennion asked for feedback on the ranked choice voting, which the commission has been studying for about nine months.
“I’ve had a person ask me to raise (their) taxes, but I’ve never had someone ask for ranked choice voting,” Mayor Jeff Lunde said, noting the responses he’s heard from citizens when door-knocking city residences in election season. Lunde’s reaction was echoed by most of the council members.
Wow! If it can’t get support from this DFL mayor (oh wait he still claims to be conservative laugh, laugh) then the proposal will go nowhere.
“Why fix what’s not broken?” Councilmember Terry Parks asked. “I don’t think there’s a problem to solve,” Councilmember John Jordan said, noting that the change in voting would create more work for the city clerk on election night, as it would require completely different ballots. Councilmember Peter Crema noted that discussion is good, but that he hadn’t been convinced of why the city would change to ranked choice voting.
“I haven’t seen the reason yet,” Councilmember Mike Trepanier said. Councilmember Bob Mata noted that he was the council’s liaison to the charter commission when the ranked choice voting discussion started. “I wasn’t a fan then, and I’m not a fan now,” he said. Michael Kisch, chair of the Citizen Long-range Improvement Committee, also known as CLIC, noted that the city must determine the added value of ranked choice voting. “We’ve got to find that value to continue the discussion,” Kisch said.
If you haven’t found any value in the discussion, why are you even continuing the discussion?
Ranked choice voting would create expense and confusion, Mata said, requiring the city to re-educate the public on how to vote. Debra Englund, chair of the Budget Advisory Committee, noted that communication with the city’s diverse population is already difficult and would be made more difficult with a complicated topic such as this one.
Once again, I’ve seen no reason at all to change the way we vote.