FairVote Testifies in Favor of Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts

Posted by Drew Spencer Penrose on October 20, 2015

Yesterday (Monday, October 19), the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Election Laws held a hearing to consider various bills. Among them were four bills that would institute the use of ranked choice voting (which they call "instant runoff voting") in Massachusetts elections.

Read FairVote's full testimony to the committee here.

Ranked choice voting is an increasingly common election method that allows voters to have real choices while still being able to elect strong winners. Recent research is showing that it also has a profound impact on campaigning: making it more positive and issue-focused.

It has a particularly interesting connection to Massachusetts: it was invented there! The single-winner ranked choice voting method, sometimes called instant runoff voting, was invented in 1870 by an architect at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named W. R. Ware.

There are five bills under consideration: H575 and H576, introduced by Rep. Jay Kaufman, and H608, H609, and H610, introduced by Rep. Ellen Story. Together, they would institute ranked choice voting for primary and general elections for all statewide offices, as well as implement the use of ranked choice voting ballots for overseas and military voters in the presidential primary.

Image Source: WikiCommons/JP16103

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