We await final results on Monday
First: thank you so much to our dozens of incredible volunteers who took time out of your lives to knock on doors, make phone calls, bring food, create events, place lawnsigns, and much more. Your efforts took an excellent candiate and put him in a position where he can be the next Ward 2 city council person. We won't know who wins until Monday, because Ramsey County has not yet obtained ballot-counting machines that are capable of tallying a Ranked Voting election. It will take a hand count which is scheduled for next week. What we do know is that we ran a strong and credible campaign that proved there is a ton of support in Ward 2 for a bold progressive vision.
We went to bed on election night knowing Jim had earned enough support to claim second place, by 25 votes. The tally changed since then, increasing his lead for second place to 57 votes. Why does this matter? Because this is the first Ranked Voting election in Saint Paul, and under Ranked Voting the winner must earn a majority of the votes. Since no candidate earned over 50% of the votes in Ward 2, the winner will be decided by the instant runoff counting that is part of Ranked Voting. Ramsey County Elections has scheduled the instant runoff counting to be performed on Monday. Here are the results from yesterday, looking just at all of the voters' first-choice votes:
|Ward 2 - First choice votes|
|CYNTHIA P. SCHANNO||343||6.40%|
Because no candidate earned over 50% of the votes, an instant runoff will be performed. First, the candidates who are mathematically unable to reach 50% are eliminated: in this case, Sharon Anderson and Cynthia Schanno. The folks who voted for one of those two candidates will instead see their second choice votes counted. Those second choice votes will be added to the remaining candidates (and in some cases their third choice will be counted, if their second choice was the other elimianted candidate). The idea is to find out: since they didn't get their first choice, who is their next preference?
Ultimately, a second instant runoff will be performed. Whoever ends up in third place will be eliminated, and similarly, those voters' second choices will be counted. Right now, Jim is in second place and Bill Hosko is in third place. If that still holds true after counting second choices from Anderson and Schanno, then Hosko would be eliminated in the second runoff and folks who voted for him first will have their next preference votes counted. If a lot of the folks who voted for Hosko picked Jim as their second choice, then Jim has a chance to win the election. But it's entirely speculation right now: we need to let the process take its course and await the official counting of the runoff process on Monday.
If any of this sounds complicated, don't worry: it's a lot easier to understand with a visual example. Please watch this short video produced by Minnesota Public Radio to see how the instant runoff process works.