We can have elections that ensure every vote is meaningful.
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a simple electoral reform that ensures fair and efficient elections. In a traditional election, the candidate with the most votes wins, even if they do not receive a majority of the votes.
This means voters must vote for the candidate they feel has the best chance of winning, rather than supporting their favorite candidates. The current system also promotes negative campaigning in an attempt to edge out the competition.
RCV promotes positive, inclusive and fair elections, which encourages a diversity of candidates and saves money by eliminating the need for municipal preliminary elections.
Our crowded primaries continually produce undemocratic results:
- Voters are forced to vote strategically for a candidate who is most likely to win, rather than voting for their real choice and risk helping a candidate they like least.
- Candidates win with less than a majority — sometimes as little as 20% of the vote.
- Entire communities are ignored. Candidates work to capture just enough votes, so they win without working towards consensus. Along the way, they often resort to negative campaigning to edge out the opposition.
Instead of a fractured electoral landscape, Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) would:
- Bring communities together. Bay Staters are well served when their elected representatives have the support of the majority of their constituents.
- Produce consensus candidates. Candidates would move to the general election with majority support from their district. Elected officials would benefit from a broader base of support. Since candidates are competing for second and third place votes as well as first place ones, they would not attack their opponents.
- Save money. The city would save money by avoiding the occasional, but costly run-off election.
WHAT IS RANKED CHOICE VOTING?
With Ranked Choice Voting, voters rank their top five candidates from first to last choice on the ballot. A candidate who collects a majority of the vote, fifty percent plus one, wins. If there’s no majority, then the last place candidate will be eliminated and votes reallocated. The process is repeated until there’s a majority winner. FairVote, a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms, put together this video to help explain this reform.
Download, sign, and return a petition to get Ranked Choice Voting on the 2020 ballot – click here.
Contact your legislators about ranked choice voting: https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Learn more about RCV from our partners at Voter Choice Massachusetts: https://www.voterchoicema.org/.