By Bob Katzen
Voters rejected a proposed law that would implement a voting system known as “ranked-choice voting” in which voters rank one or more candidates in order of preference. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the first-place votes, that candidate would be declared the winner and no other rounds would be necessary.
If no candidate receives a majority of first-place votes, the candidate that received the least number of first-choice votes is eliminated. The second choice of the voters who supported the eliminated candidate now becomes their first choice and is added to the totals of the remaining candidates. The same process is repeated, if necessary, until a candidate is the first choice of a majority of voters.
According to the Associated Press, 45 percent of voters voted “yes” and 55 percent voted “no.” Official figures from the scretary of state are not yet available.
“We came up short in this election, and we are obviously deeply disappointed,” said campaign manager Cara Brown McCormick. “But that’s certainly no reflection of the hard work of the thousands of dedicated volunteers, staff and surrogates of this campaign. Even amidst a global pandemic, we were able to mobilize a movement to strengthen our democracy in a time when it’s needed most. We were attempting to do something historic in Massachusetts and fell short, but the incredible groundswell of support from volunteers and reformers that assembled behind this campaign is reason enough to stay optimistic about the future of our democracy.”
“While out-of-state billionaires spent over $10 million to try to make Massachusetts a guinea pig for their ranked-choice experiment, according to data from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, the official No Ranked Choice Committee spent less than $10,000 to stop it,” said Paul Craney, executive director of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a group that opposed the question. “That’s less than a cent per vote for the ‘no’ side, compared to $7.41 per vote on the ‘yes’ side. It was a true grassroots effort. We won, but the real winners are the people of Massachusetts.”