The movement to bring ranked choice voting to Massachusetts continues to gain momentum in the wake of a shockingly low plurality win in the state’s 3rd Congressional District Democratic primary.
As the Associated Press writes, the 21 percent of votes that gave Lori Trahan the nomination over 9 other candidates (confirmed in a recount Monday), has been labeled “troubling if not outright democratic.” It’s actually the lowest plurality win of the 2018 primary season, according to FairVote analysis.
Though disturbing, the outcome was not entirely surprising, according to FairVote President and CEO Rob Richie who was featured in the article.
"The candidates knew their roadmap was through the current system where they could only get one vote from a voter, so they weren't even trying to get to 50 percent."
Echoing The Boston Globe’s second editorial for ranked choice voting in Massachusetts, Richie described the race as the “poster child” for RCV.
As outlined in the article, the voting method ensures winners receive the broadest possible support of voters, with elimination rounds triggered if no candidate secures more than 50 percent of first-choice votes.
Noting its successful use debut in Maine’s June primary - and historic first-time use for the state’s federal representatives in the upcoming November election - as well as nearly dozen other U.S. cities, the piece questions, will Massachusetts be next?
With state advocates like Voter Choice Massachusetts and Common Cause Massachusetts championing the cause, we certainly hope so - perhaps through a ballot initiative as early as 2020, as Richie suggests.