For Immediate Release
December 20, 2019
Contact: Emily Fitzmaurice, Voter Choice for Massachusetts, 617-817-0257
State Certifies over 111,000 Signatures to Put Ranked Choice Voting on 2020 Massachusetts Ballot
Grassroots team delivered signatures from all 351 cities and towns Massachusetts
BOSTON – The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office alerted Voter Choice for Massachusetts this afternoon that their office has certified 111,268 of the signatures filed earlier this month – allowing the campaign to move forward in the process to put Ranked Choice Voting before the Massachusetts voters on the 2020 ballot.
“With the help of hundreds of volunteers, we didn’t just meet our goals, we blew passed them – getting over 31,000 more certified signatures needed at this stage in our campaign to give Massachusetts voters more choice and a stronger voice at the ballot box,” said Emily Fitzmaurice, Communications Director for Voter Choice for Massachusetts. “Ranked choice voting is a common sense upgrade to the ballot that will strengthen our democracy and re-engage voters at this critical time. As we head into 2020, we’ll continue talking directly to voters about our campaign and building upon the tremendous momentum we’re seeing from supporters in every city and town of the Commonwealth.”
Voter Choice for Massachusetts, has been focused for months on building up an impressive grassroots team with a strong presence in all regions of the Commonwealth. Since early September, Voter Choice for Massachusetts activated 1,036 volunteers who spent over 5,000 hours helping the campaign during this phase – including collecting signatures, engaging new volunteers, and helping increase visibility of the campaign and its work in communities all over the state.
With Ranked Choice Voting, voters still only cast one ballot, but when there are three or more candidates for an office, voters are given the option to rank candidates on their ballot in the order they prefer them: first, second, third, etc. If one candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, that candidate wins.
If no candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Voters who ranked the eliminated candidate as their first choice will have their vote count instantly towards the next choice on their ballot. That process repeats until a candidate receives a majority of the vote and wins.
The ballot question would simply provide voters with the option to rank candidates in the order they prefer them. Voters can rank as many or as few candidates as they want, or could choose just one candidate, like they do now. Voters would be allowed to rank candidates in state and federal elections starting in 2022. The ballot question would not apply to presidential elections or local municipal elections.
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 or enacted in over 20 states.
The ballot question will now move to the next phase of the petition process and will be transmitted to the Clerk of the Massachusetts House of Representatives by the Secretary of State.
Made up of thousands of citizens and activists across the state, Voter Choice for Massachusetts is the non-partisan campaign to place a question on the 2020 ballot that would bring Ranked Choice Voting to Massachusetts elections starting in 2022.