Voices & Choices

Ready to rank! RCV takes major strides in MA; activists collect more signatures than any other ballot question

Ready to rank! RCV takes major strides in MA; activists collect more signatures than any other ballot question

New year, new momentum.

While holiday weather outside may have been frightful, the fire certainly wasn’t the only thing delightful.  Ranked choice voting continues to heat up Massachusetts, which has taken major strides in recent days toward joining Maine as the second state to adopt RCV statewide.

On December 20, Secretary of State William Galvin’s office certified over 111,000 signatures (more than 31,000 above the state’s minimum threshold), putting RCV one step closer to a statewide vote in fall 2020.

Now, the state House of Representatives has the opportunity to approve the measure. If it does so by May, RCV will be put to a statewide vote. If it declines to act, activists must collect at least 13,374 additional certified signatures by July 1 to circumvent the legislature and ensure all Massachusetts voters will have the opportunity to vote on RCV in the fall.

This represents an enormous win for good-government activists—led by Voter Choice for Massachusetts—who organized an extensive statewide signature-gathering campaign that featured hundreds of volunteers going door to door.

As Voter Choice for Massachusetts spokeswoman Emmy Fitzmaurice told The Boston Globe, “With the help of hundreds of volunteers, we didn’t just meet our goals, we blew past them – getting over 31,000 more certified signatures needed at this stage in our campaign to give Massachusetts voters more choice and a stronger voice at the ballot box."

In fact, of the four proposed ballot measures that may appear on Massachusetts’ November 2020 ballot, RCV received the most support (111,268 signatures), indicating both its widespread support across the state and the fact that Massachusetts voters are truly ready to rank.

Following RCV’s 2018 success in Maine, Voter Choice for Massachusetts mobilized reform-minded citizens who want to inject a breath of fresh air into democracy. They organized an RCV Lobby Day (pictured in a tweet below), spurred numerous local events, and coordinated the efforts of the hundreds of signature-gathering volunteers.

Massachusetts activists’ efforts follow a strong 2019 for RCV in which 11 cities used the method and two cities—including New York City—adopted it for future use. In 2020, Maine will utilize RCV in its Senate and presidential general election while four state Democratic parties—Kansas, Alaska, Hawaii and Wyoming—will use it for their presidential primaries.

While we recognize that RCV has not yet crossed the finish line in Massachusetts, we applaud the efforts of activists there and look forward to seeing what 2020 holds for RCV in the Bay State.



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