The News Tribune and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored a forum Tuesday on ranked-choice voting.
Duluth voters will decide next month whether they want to adopt ranked-choice voting for future local elections.
Ranked-choice voting enables voters to support multiple candidates in order of preference. With a ranked-choice voting system, voters are asked to pick their first-, second- and third-choice candidates to serve in public office. The first-choice votes are then tallied, with the lowest-placing candidates eliminated one by one.
When candidates are knocked out of the race, their supporters' second- and even third-choice votes come into play as they are allocated to the remaining candidates. As soon as any candidate garners more than 50 percent of the vote, he or she is declared the winner in a one-seat race. Ranked-choice voting eliminates the need for primary elections.
Groups have formed on both sides of the issue in Duluth. At Tuesday's forum, former Duluth City Councilor David Wheeler (for ranked-choice voting) and current City Councilor Joel Sipress (against) discussed the pros and cons of the system.
Video of the entire forum is available above.