Readers Write: (Nov. 7): Ranked-choice voting, Cam Winton, Mark Ritchie, John Nienstedt, praying bus driver

  • Updated: November 6, 2013 - 6:32 PM

RCV really gets hard to follow in races with multiple winners.


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Multiple-seat races especially hard to grasp

I’m still not convinced that it is entirely clear to the ordinary voter who gets elected ultimately in ranked-choice voting.

The RCV results can be most understood when there is only “one to be elected” for each seat or office to be filled, but less so in the case of “three to be elected” (park commissioners) or “two to be elected” (Board of Estimate and Taxation). It amounts to a three-dimensional ballot, not a flat, two-dimensional ballot that can be laid on the voting booth table and simply marked with a pencil.

Three-dimensional ballots might be a move into modern four- to six-dimensional times, but it doesn’t seem transparent to me yet. With doubts like that, I get uneasy about political or mathematical conspiracy. If it proves to be honest and democratic, I would probably trust the pure mathematicians further than politicians. And in the end, as for drawing lots, a democracy should trust the voters more than their gods.

JOHN BISPALA, Minneapolis



Minneapolis needs more like Cam Winton

On election night, the people of Minneapolis did not elect Cam Winton, the independent candidate for mayor, to run City Hall. It’s no surprise; Democrats have controlled the mayor’s office of Minnesota’s largest city since the 1970s.

But we rare breed of Minneapolitans who are not members of the Democratic Party owe Cam a debt of gratitude. Even though he knew his chances of victory were slim and has a family and impressive private-sector career to look after, he was by far the hardest-working candidate in this race. He fought relentlessly to expose the bureaucracy and red tape that runs rampant at City Hall, the wasteful spending that punishes Minneapolis taxpayers and the all-too-powerful role union thuggery plays in our state’s politics.

Cam is the kind of politician we need more of — an energetic, common-sense fiscal conservative with bold, free-market based ideas to make Minneapolis a better place and brave enough to take on the DFL establishment. I hope his days in our city’s politics are not over.

ANDY BREHM, Minneapolis



Ritchie’s maligned process? Public service.

All the ink spilled over the decision by Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to implement online voter registration could mislead readers to the false conclusion that something illegal and nefarious was executed in the middle of the night by unknown agents of a malevolent, shadowy cabal bent on destroying the beating heart of American democracy.

The ridiculous lawsuit filed by Republicans simply reinforces the perception that they would rather limit voting to wealthy landowners, while the feeble reasoning offered by the Nov. 6 editorial in this paper complains about process. The point is that online voter registration is an efficient method of enfranchising voters that broadens the electorate and improves the outcome of elections. State residents should expect government to implement common-sense cost savings technologies wherever possible. The real story that has been overlooked here is that this online registration system actually works and produces measurable results. Ritchie should be applauded for his innovative and competent work. It’s another legacy of Minnesota’s tradition of excellent public service.

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