Citizens Sue Minneapolis Over Instant Runoff Voting

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A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) was filed against the City of Minneapolis, Secretary of State, (Minnesota) and Attorney General (Minnesota).

The Minnesota Voters Alliance and their attorney, Erick G.Kaardal, announced Thursday December 20th, 2007 that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) was filed against the City of Minneapolis, Secretary of State, and Attorney General (Minnesota).

Minneapolis recently approved a little understood and poorly described preferential voting system called Single Transferable Vote, also known as Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for City offices. Its proponents now want to spread the scheme across the State, despite questionable constitutionality.

Prior to IRV being placed on the 2006 Minneapolis ballot, Assistant City Attorney Burt Osborne advised against it, citing the 1915 Minnesota Supreme Court decision Brown v. Smallwood. The City ignored this warning and put it on the ballot anyway.

The Minnesota Attorney General stated, in an August 2007 letter to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, that IRV is "probably" unconstitutional.

The court warned that voters can harm their favored candidate simply by ranking them as their first choice. but the primary concern was an election format (such as IRV) in which voters could ultimately be harmed by secondary choice votes cast by others.

The attached Litigation Backgrounder details the need for the Complaint challenging the constitutionality of Instant Runoff Voting. It was filed in the Fourth Judicial District, Minnesota. The Complaint and additional information can be found at http://www.mnvoters.org

The Minnesota Voters Alliance, a 501c 4 non-profit citizen's group, formed in the interest of a well-informed electorate, seeks support for this effort to protect the franchise rights of voters. Financial assistance for this effort will be greatly appreciated. People may contribute by mail at the address listed in the attachment, or use PayPal online at: http://www.mnvoters.org/Donate.htm

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