Mary Jane Else: Ranked-choice voting is the way to go

  • A summary of Ballot Question 2, known as a “Ranked Choice Voting” law, in the Nov. 3, 2020, Massachusetts election is displayed in a handbook provided to voters by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Marlborough, Mass.   AP Photo/Bill Sikes

Published: 10/15/2020 4:28:45 PM

2020 has been one doozy of a year, and voters can be forgiven if they have not had the time or energy to learn about the ballot questions we’ll be voting on this Nov. 3.

One of them, Question 2, promises to bring new life into our democracy. Question 2 would bring ranked-choice voting to Massachusetts. What is ranked-choice voting? Let’s say there are three or four candidates running in a state or local primary or general election. Instead of having to choose just one, ranked-choice allows you to rank your candidates in your order of preference. In this type of race, one with multiple candidates, ranked-choice voting allows a majority of voters to have a voice in who is chosen. That is because the candidate who wins will have been ranked as a first or second choice by most voters.

Without ranked-choice, the candidate who gets the most votes can be elected by a minority of voters, and may even represent fringe views. Ranked-choice voting makes it safe to have multiple candidates in races without the risk that they will “spoil” an election. This could refresh our democracy, bring new and diverse views into campaigns. If more people see their views represented, more people will be drawn to the polls. We may all find ourselves looking forward to campaigns with intelligent debates from a range of perspectives.

Ranked-choice is already in place in Maine. Endorsers include Republicans Bill Weld and Kerry Healey and Democrats Maura Healey, Bill Galvin, and Elizabeth Warren. Please join them and vote Yes! On 2.

Mary Jane Else

South Hadley




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