Voices & Choices

Boston Globe: Ranked choice voting for better elections

Boston Globe: Ranked choice voting for better elections

The Boston Globe published an editorial that strongly favors ranked choice voting (RCV) as a means for better elections.

"This year Maine became the first in the nation to use ranked-choice voting for its statewide elections. The system allows voters to rank a field of candidates from first to last when filling out their ballots, as opposed to voting for a single person. Electoral reform advocates, political scientists, and the rest of the country watched Maine’s primaries closely.

Generally speaking, the system did deliver on its promises — and did so at a reasonable added cost of only about $110,000, with none of the major controversies or chaos many of its critics predicted. Now Massachusetts must follow Maine and become the next state to adopt ranked-choice voting."

The editorial presents the many advantages RCV brings, including a broader range of candidates, eliminating split voting and helping to elect more diverse leadership. The editors write that RCV is associated with an increase in voter engagement, which results in “greater turnout at the polls” and candidates that run “less acrimonious” campaigns.

The closing paragraph effectively summarizes the paper’s call to action:

"The Massachusetts Legislature would be wise to adopt ranked-choice voting, coupled with a robust voter education campaign, for statewide elections. Cities and towns should have a local option to use it as well. In an era when voting rights increasingly are under attack, ranked-choice voting is an opportunity to lead the nation and bring fresh energy to a fundamental pillar of the democratic process."

Read the full editorial here.

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