Charter Commission Minutes

June 6, 2006

The Hopkins Charter Commission met on June 6. Present were Commission members Dorothy Boen, Roger Gross, Fran Hesch, Steve Lewis, Bob Miller, Jerre Miller and Emily Wallace-Jackson.

  1. Call To Order
    The meeting was brought to order at 6:36 pm by the Chair of the Commission, Roger Gross.
  2. Approval of Minutes for April 25, 2006
    Commissioner Bob Miller asked for a clarification of the discussion regarding what to do with ballots where the voter skipped a rank on the ballot. For example, when voting for two Council Members, a voter chooses the two first choices and then chooses a candidate for Alternate #2 but leaves Alternate #1 blank. After discussion the Commission reconfirmed that the voter would be given a chance to correct the ballot but if submitted such a ballot would be treated the same as if the voter had made no Alternative choices.
    Commissioner Boen moved and Commissioner Hesch seconded the motion to approve the minutes of the April 25, 2006 meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.
  3. Communications
    None
  4. Old Business
    1. Ranked Ballot Voting
      Mr. Genellie presented a draft of a proposed Charter amendment ordinance. The Commission discussed the various sections of the proposed ordinance.
         Commissioner Bob Miller initiated a discussion of section 4.04 (a)
      • If a ranked-choice ballot gives equal rank to two or more candidates, the ballot shall be declared exhausted at the point of the ballot when such multiple rankings are reached.
           Commissioner Bob Miller argued that this should be considered an invalid ballot. Other Commissioners argued that as long as the equal ranking occurred after there was a valid ranking, for example if the voter voted for one candidate as the first choice and two candidates as the second choice, that the vote for the first choice candidate should be counted.
          Commissioner Bob Miller moved and Commissioner Jerre Miller seconded a motion that whenever a ballot gives equal rank to two or more candidates, that ballot should be declared invalid.
          Commissioner Boen, Nay; Commissioner Gross, Nay; Commissioner Hesch, Nay; Commissioner Lewis, Nay; Commissioner Bob Miller, Aye; Commissioner Jerre Miller, Aye; Commissioner Wallace-Jackson, Nay. The motion failed.
          Commissioner Bob Miller said that he thought that the wording in Section 4.04 (d) was confusing. After a brief discussion, the Commission decided on the following changes to this section:
      • (d) This process of eliminating candidates a candidate and transferring their votes the votes of that candidate to the next-ranked continuing candidates shall be repeated until a candidate receives a majority of the votes from the continuing ballots or there is only one continuing candidate.
      The Commission then discussed the issue of separate implementation of ranked ballot voting for single seat elections, such as the Mayor, versus multiple seat elections, such as the City Council.
          One argument against separate implementation would be that the Mayor would be elected using ranked ballot voting while the Council Members would be elected by plurality.
          Commissioner Gross asked for a motion on the question. Commissioner Hesch moved and Commissioner Bob Miller seconded a motion to give the City Council the option to have a separate implementation of Ranked Ballot Voting for single seat elections. The motion was approved unanimously.
          The Commission then discussed the next steps to be taken. After discussion, Commissioner Bob Miller moved and Commissioner Hesch seconded a motion to present the draft ordinance to the City Council at the next available Worksession, with the understanding that if the Council finds no significant issues with the ordinance, the Charter Commission would reconvene to adopt a resolution recommending the adoption of an ordinance that would amend the City Charter to allow Ranked Ballot Voting.  The motion was approved unanimously.
  5. New Business
    None
  6. Adjournment
    Commissioner Jerre Miller moved and Commissioner Bob Miller seconded a motion to adjourn. The meeting adjourned by unanimous consent.