Mass says “no” to ranked-choice voting

Collaborator: Danielle Saitta
Published: 11/04/2020, 3:21 PM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(BOSTON, Mass.) Early in the morning on November 3, Massachusetts voters braved the cold and COVID-19 to cast their votes. This year, the state's ballots included two new questions about sharing vehicle data and about how we vote in state elections. Ranked-Choice voting is a new voting method that's been implemented and or adopted by 14 states, including its recent addition, Maine. It allows voters to list their candidates in order of favor versus using the traditional plurality voting system used in presidential elections. This voting method works as a process of elimination where there can be more than two candidates on the ballot. The final results come down to which candidate is most popular and is the first to gain more than 50% of the vote. “I think that it will make the candidates work harder knowing that it's not a winner take all situation,” said Jim Heskett, a local voter. Some voters who had voted for ballot question two told VNN that they’d like to see this new kind of voting innovation used in presidential elections. “I personally think that it should be. I think that it’s an opportunity for people to not have to choose the lesser of two evils. Ranked-Choice Voting removes that. It’s a new way of voting that the country should at least consider,” says Spencer Hess, a local voter. According to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, $9.9 million in contributions were donated by those in favor of Ranked-Choice Voting. In contrast, less than $4 million was contributed by those opposed to it. Governor Charles Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito are among those who opposed Ranked-Choice Voting. “At a time when we need to be promoting turnout and making it easier for voters to cast their ballots, we worry that Question Two will add a layer of complication for both voters and election officials, while potentially delaying results and increasing the cost of elections,” said Baker and Polito in a joint statement. Overnight, Massachusetts residents voted no to ballot question two. The state will continue to use its plurality voting method instead of using Ranked-Choice Voting. Mass residents voted “yes” on ballot question one, requiring car manufacturers to make parts and information about vehicles sold within the state available to all mechanics, from model year 2020 and beyond. It will now allow local mechanics to retrieve wireless data sent by the car, about the car and information about the driver.


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