Posted by Shashank Vura on June 05, 2017
On Saturday, the Massachusetts Democratic Party adopted a new platform, including an amendment supporting ranked choice voting. This echoes a long history of support for ranked choice voting in the state. Ranked choice voting has been used in Cambridge municipal elections since 1941, while the Amherst Charter Commission proposed adopting it it for local elections last month.
Three bills advancing ranked choice voting were introduced in the Massachusetts General Court this year as well. SD 485 would allow cities and towns to incorporate ranked choice voting, while HB 2897 would do the same for certain municipalities. The latter already has thirty-one cosponsors. In addition, HB 377 would enable ranked choice voting for all statewide offices.
This milestone comes amidst a wave of momentum for ranked choice voting among major parties. Massachusetts Democrats followed in the footsteps of their counterparts in California, Colorado, Maine, and Minnesota by officially backing ranked choice voting in their platform. Last month, the Arlington County (Virginia) Democratic Committee utilized ranked choice voting in a turnout-shattering caucus. Internally, parties as widespread as the Utah Republicans, Texas Democrats, and Iowa Democrats have used preferential voting to further democratize their conventions. Democrats in Iowa used ranked choice voting to elect their new chair for the first time this year.