Ranked voting ends with tax board pick

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 21, 2009 - 11:51 PM

Election counting finishes with David Wheeler winning a seat on the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

The long release of ranked-choice voting results in Minneapolis ended Saturday with the election of David Wheeler to the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

Preliminary results had already made it clear that Carol Becker would be reelected. Wheeler came in second on the basis of first-round votes.

The board sets the city's maximum levy, authorizes borrowing and oversees internal audits. The contest was the only one using ranked-choice voting in which the surplus votes of an elected candidate were used.

Becker garnered about 52 percent of first-choice votes to 19 percent for Wheeler and 9 percent for Phil Willkie, who topped the four also-rans. But because the threshold for election was only 33 percent for the race, election rules called for the redistribution of about 6,000 of her 16,728 votes according to whom her supporters listed as their second choice. Wheeler was the main beneficiary, gaining more than 1,100 votes, followed by about 900 for DeWayne Townsend, with whom Becker campaigned. Wheeler's total also was swelled by the second-choices of voters who first supported candidates who were dropped for low totals. Wheeler had the most votes after all others were eliminated, so he was elected despite not hitting 33 percent.

Wheeler is the development director for the nonprofit Community Involvement Program and a minister. He replaces Jill Schwimmer, who is stepping down.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

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