Ranked Choice Voting Ballot Question Certified by Attorney General; Signature Collection to Begin This Month

For Immediate Release

September 4, 2019

Contact: Andrew Farnitano, 925-917-1354, andrew@crawfordstrategies.com

Ranked Choice Voting Ballot Question Certified by Attorney General; Signature Collection to Begin This Month

Commonsense Change Would Give Voters Stronger Voice, Ensure Majority Support for Election Winners

BOSTONVoter Choice for Massachusetts, the campaign to bring Ranked Choice Voting to Massachusetts elections, today issued the following statement following the Attorney General’s certification of the campaign’s proposed ballot question, which would appear on the November 2020 ballot for voters to decide.

“Massachusetts voters want a stronger voice when we cast our ballots, and it’s just common sense to make sure that our elected leaders are supported by a true majority. Ranked Choice Voting would give voters the option to rank candidates in the order they prefer them, empowering and re-energizing Massachusetts voters at a critical time in our democracy,” said Mac D’Alessandro, Campaign Manager of Voter Choice for Massachusetts.

“We are pleased to see our Ranked Choice Voting question take the next step towards the 2020 ballot with today’s certification by the Attorney General. This fall, thousands of citizens and activists who support this commonsense improvement to our elections will be talking to Massachusetts voters as we collect signatures to qualify our question for the ballot. We’re excited to bring more voice and more choice into our elections by creating this new option for voters.”

Voter Choice for Massachusetts plans to collect more than the required 80,239 certified signatures to qualify their question for the ballot. Those signatures must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office by the first Wednesday in December.

The following fourteen registered voters signed the Ranked Choice Voting petition to start the ballot initiative process:

Jordan Berg Powers (Worcester)

Andrew Bloom (West Stockbridge)

Sue Chalifoux Zephir (Leominster)

Alexandra Chandler (Haverhill)

Cristina Crawford (Sherborn)

Greg Dennis (Arlington)

Rebecca Downing (Holyoke)

Daniel Gilbert (Easthampton)

Sean Kenney (Dartmouth)

Deborah Otis (Newton)

Thomas Peake (Easthampton)

Shelli Perreia (Fall River)

Tanisha Sullivan (Hyde Park)

Gladys Vega (Chelsea)

About the Ranked Choice Voting Ballot Question

The ballot question, which would appear on the November 2020 ballot, would bring Ranked Choice Voting to Massachusetts elections starting in 2022. With Ranked Choice Voting, when there are three or more candidates for an office, voters are given the option to rank candidates in their order of preference: first, second, third, etc.

If one candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes on Election Night, that candidate wins. If no candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes in that initial round of counting, the candidate who has the fewest votes is eliminated and the votes for that candidate are reallocated to the next highest-ranked candidate choice on each voter’s ballot. Additional rounds of counting occur with the candidates who have not been eliminated, until a candidate receives a majority of the vote and wins.

The Ranked Choice Voting ballot question simply provides voters with the option to rank candidates in their order of preference. Voters are allowed to rank as many or as few candidates as they want and can choose to vote for just one candidate, like they do now. The ballot question would give voters the option to rank candidates in state-run elections, including statewide Massachusetts elections (like Governor and Attorney General), local legislative offices (State Senate and State Representative), and federal congressional offices (U.S. Senate and U.S. Representative). Ranked Choice Voting would not be used for presidential elections or local municipal elections, or for elections for county commissioner or regional district school committee member.

A similar ballot question recently brought Ranked Choice Voting to Maine, where it was used successfully in the 2018 elections and will be used again next year. In addition, Ranked Choice Voting is used for municipal elections in over 20 states.

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Made up of thousands of citizens and activists across the state, Voter Choice Massachusetts is a non-partisan, politically diverse, non-profit organization dedicated to educating the Massachusetts public about ranked choice voting. After spending several years advocating for new ways to empower Massachusetts voters, Voter Choice Massachusetts is working to place a question on the 2020 ballot that would bring Ranked Choice Voting to Massachusetts elections starting in 2022. We’ve formed a ballot committee, Voter Choice for Massachusetts, to run – and win – that campaign.