Rank Your Beer demonstrates ranked-choice voting at St. Louis Park brewery

A participant in a Rank Your Beer event considers which beers to rank as the best Aug. 22 at Steel Toe Brewing in St. Louis Park. (Submitted photo) Four Steel Toe Brewing beers compete to be determined the winner in an exercise that demonstrated how ranked-choice voting works. (Submitted photo)
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A participant in a Rank Your Beer event considers which beers to rank as the best Aug. 22 at Steel Toe Brewing in St. Louis Park. (Submitted photo)

St. Louis Park residents learned about ranked-choice voting at a Rank Your Beer event Aug. 22 at Steel Toe Brewing. Nearly 40 community members participated. The competing beers were Provider, Sissel, Dissent and Size 7.

The League of Women Voters of St. Louis Park and FairVote Minnesota hosted the event to educate the community about an effort to bring ranked-choice voting to St. Louis Park.

In wake of the St. Louis Park City Council’s decision to eliminate the municipal primary beginning with the 2019 election, the council is considering a proposal to use ranked-choice voting in municipal general elections.

With ranked-choice voting, if no candidate has an outright majority, the rankings are used to conduct an runoff without another vote. The least popular candidate is eliminated and the ballots for that candidate are reassigned to remaining candidates based on the second choices on those ballots. This process continues until one candidate receives a majority among continuing ballots.

Ranked-choice voting is used in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The League of Women Voters of St. Louis Park, the St. Louis Park Human Rights Commission and DFL Senate District 46 support the use of ranked-choice voting. Secretary of State Steve Simon, who has represented St. Louis Park in the Minnesota House of Representatives, attended the event and spoke about his efforts to give communities the option to adopt ranked-choice voting if they wished. Several other elected officials attended, including Rep. Cheryl Youakim, DFL-Hopkins, Mayor Jake Spano and Councilmember Anne Mavity. Several candidates running for election this year also participated.

Gail Dorfman, a former St. Louis Park mayor, current Met Council member and member of FairVote Minnesota’s board, discussed her support for ranked-choice voting.

At Steel Toe Brewing, Dissent received 32 percent of the vote in the first round but ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote after other choices had been eliminated. The exercise simulated the determination of an actual election winner.

Info: fairvotemn.org/st-louis-park