Owen Zaret: “Yes” on 2

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Published: 10/21/2020 4:34:37 PM

Heading into this year’s election, I am thrilled to see ranked-choice voting on the ballot for the commonwealth of Massachusetts. This appears as Question 2 on your ballot. Ranked-choice voting is a voting system that I enthusiastically supported in our City of Easthampton, and I was happy to see it pass as a voting method for our mayoral and precinct councilor races.

Our goal in government should always be to foster the most engagement and participation in races, from local all the way to federal. Too often, we discourage people from running because they might split the vote and draw votes away from other candidates that are favored. Ranked-choice voting eliminates the concern of vote splitting. In doing so, it allows for more diverse candidate participation. As we bring more candidates into a race, under our traditional winner-takes-all method, we can have a candidate in a six-way race win with 18% of the vote.

That leads one to wonder, do they have more broad support? Do the other 82% of the public not support them? Ranked-choice voting eliminates those questions by establishing the true support behind a candidate. In a ranked-choice voting election, only a candidate with majority support of greater than 50% can win, and the results will always clearly demonstrate that. Ranked-choice voting peels back the layers of voters’ support to expose the candidate whose policies in some way, shape or form are supported by the most voters.

I say “yes” to Question 2 in favor of ranked-choice voting. I encourage you to vote “yes” as well to make campaigning in Massachusetts more inclusive and diverse.

Owen Zaret


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