MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis mayor and city council races headline the ballot in the City of Lakes, but Minneapolis voters are also electing seats for the Park and Recreation Board and the Board of Estimate and Taxation. Mayor Betsy Hodges is trying to win re-election to a second term, but she's facing a long list of challengers with 15 other candidates on the ballot.
The city announced Tuesday night that a large number of spoiled ballots required officials to print off more, with voters being urged to stay in line past the scheduled 8:00 p.m. poll closures in order to cast their votes.
This will delay the posting of results even further, despite the fact that Minneapolis didn't expect to declare a winner on election night in the first place. In fact, if no winner is declared in the first round of voting, Minneapolis won’t start counting votes until Wednesday at 12:00 p.m.
ELECTION RESULTS POSTED: Minneapolis election results from each round of ranked choice voting will be posted at vote.minneapolismn.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votempls and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/votempls. The Secretary of State website will post top choices at http://electionresults.sos.state.mn.us.
PREPARE TO WAIT: According to the City of Minneapolis, “the City will tabulate the election results as quickly as possible. However, because ranked-choice voting requires a special tabulation process, some race results will not be known on election night. In races where there is no winner in the first round of counting, those results will be tabulated in the days following the election. Although it is not possible to know exactly how long the tabulation will take for the races that do not have winners on election night, elections officials plan to complete tabulation and declare a winner in the mayor's race as soon as possible.”
TABULATION PROCESS: On Election Night, after the polls close at 8 p.m., ballot counters will be used in each precinct to obtain first-round results. The first-choice rankings are the unverified first-round results from election night. Because of the way ranked-choice voting works, it is not possible to simply add up numbers in the columns to get final results.
The city website, vote.minneapolismn.gov, will be the definitive source for Minneapolis election results. As results come in on Election Night, first-choice votes for each race will be posted along with the determination of whether an unofficial winner can be declared or if additional rounds of tabulation will need to occur.
On the morning on Wednesday, Nov. 8, elections officials will prepare the results data for tabulation, which will begin Wednesday afternoon. Two teams of two elections staffers each will work independently to process the results data and determine winners. Tabulation will begin with the race for mayor, followed by city council, Board of Estimate and Taxation and Park and Recreation Board.
WHAT IS RANKED CHOICE VOTING? Minneapolis and St. Paul elections use ranked choice voting for elections. With ranked choice voting, voters can choose to rank candidates for all offices on the ballot. In Minneapolis, voters can rank up to three candidates. In St. Paul, they can rank up to six.
In ranked choice voting, you select their first choice for each race. You then have the option to rank second and third choices in each office. The second choice would only be counted if your first choice did not receive enough votes to continue on to the next round of counting.
Ranking a second or third choice candidate does not hurt your first choice candidate. You are not required to rank more than one candidate and you can rank as many or as few candidates as you please.
To win a ranked-choice election, a candidate must earn more than 50 percent of the vote.