| Peter Callaghan | Yahoo News |

Voters in some of Minnesota’s largest cities are familiar with ranked choice voting elections, the system that since 2009 has allowed voters to rank candidates for nonpartisan local offices. Now, a bill advanced through a state Senate committee takes the first steps toward using that election system for partisan federal and state offices as well.

Rather than tearing each other down

Senate File 2270 was approved last week by the Senate Elections Committee on a party line vote. That kept the issue alive past a self-imposed legislative deadline for bills to pass out of committee. If passed into law and signed by Gov. Tim Walz, the bill would first broaden the number of local governments that could adopt the system and then create a 26-member task force with the aim of crafting a plan to elect members of Congress, governors and legislators later in the decade.

U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, DFL-2nd District, wrote that she is elected from one of the few remaining swing districts in the U.S. and that her voters tend to be less partisan.

“Implementing Ranked Choice Voting in Minnesota would help ensure candidates are more concerned about fighting for the support of constituents rather than tearing each other down,” wrote Craig.

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