In an Oct. 28 article, the Star Tribune reported that Minnesota Republicans recruited Legal Marijuana Now candidate, Adam Weeks, who tragically died last month, to “pull votes” from DFL Rep. Angie Craig in the 2nd Congressional District — and paid him $15,000 to do it.
As a voter in the district, I am outraged that Republicans are looking to game the system to thwart the will of voters and bribe candidates to do it. It’s unfair to voters and candidates and damaging to our democracy.
This isn’t the only time spoilers played a role in our district. Congresswoman Craig lost her first race in 2016, when an Independent Party candidate garnered 7 percent, tossing the election to Jason Lewis. This isn’t the only race in which the GOP is attempting to use this tactic either. There are several across the state, including the Presidential race.
There is a clear solution to this anti-democratic ploy – Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). With RCV, I can vote for my favorite candidate, knowing that my second choice will count if my first-choice doesn’t have enough support to win. RCV would eliminate the strategy of recruiting spoiler candidates and allow all candidates to run on a level playing field. Voters can express their full preference without fear of helping to elect the candidate they like the least — or voting for their second choice to avoid wasting their vote. Scheming to thwart the will of the majority should not be rewarded. We can fix this. Let’s implement RCV.
Rank Your Vote is a project of FairVote Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan election reform organization that engages hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters. Together, we work for a stronger democracy through public education and advocacy for Ranked Choice Voting, a system proven to be more inclusive, democratic, and representative than our current plurality electoral system. We educate and support candidates, elected officials, cities and voters in preparation for RCV elections.