Connect with us

2018 Midterms

Nationwide Electoral Reform Efforts Gain Momentum as Support for Ranked Choice Voting Grows

States like Massachusetts are considering ranked choice voting in order to increase electoral diversity.

Duane Paul Murphy

Published

on

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to accurately reflect the members of the Voter Choice Massachusetts Advisory Board. 

The U.S. has a troubling record of not only low voter turnout, lack of access to register to vote, and voter suppression tactics, but also archaic electoral allocation systems. With single-member districts at the state and federal level, at-large districts at the local level, and winner-take-all plurality voting, representation for third-party candidates, non-partisan, and grassroots candidates are mostly left out at nearly every level of elected public office nationwide.

However, many states and individuals have seriously advocated or considered electoral reform policies that could expand more choices and voices in the country’s democracy.

In Massachusetts, a group of state and local politicians, as well as government reforms, are forming a growing coalition known as Voter Choice and are advocating for the legal statutory adoption of ranked choice voting or instant runoff voting. This is an advanced electoral allocation system in which candidates are numerically ranked and a winner is determined when a particular candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. If no single candidate gets more than 50% in the initial voting and if the first choice candidate does not make it, other choices are automatically counted for in an instant runoff.

Started after voters in neighboring Maine passed a ranked choice voting ballot initiative in 2016, Massachusetts has a Voter Choice group advisory board that includes former president of the liberal Common Cause Massachusetts chapter Pam Wilmot, former Massachusetts state and national Democratic Party chairman Steven Grossman, Boston entrepreneur Diane Hessan, Nobel economic laureate Eric Maskin, and former gubernatorial candidate for the liberal-centrist United Independent Party Evan Falchuk.

The group hopes to pass this system through the state legislature between 2018 and 2019. If they can not get it passed legislatively, they hope to get on the ballot in 2020.

Cities such as Cambridge have used ranked choice voting for local elections since 1941, and Amherst is planning to adopt this system by 2021. Last year, the Massachusetts State Democratic Party adopted support for the voting system to its official platform at their statewide convention.

Third party candidates running in liberal states are also sharing support for necessary electoral reform. Kash Jackson, a 39-year-old Navy veteran and Libertarian Party Illinois gubernatorial candidate, showed support for ranked choice voting and proportional representation. Jackson acted in response to a written statement on Facebook from the non-partisan Illinoisans for Ranked Choice Voting, a political advocacy group urging all gubernatorial candidates to support electoral reform for the state.

Jumpstart a career doing something you are passionate about with one of College Media Network’s courses. Read about our current offerings, schedule and unique virtual learning environment here.

Duane Paul Murphy is a D.C. college student and student journalist born and raised in Southern California. Currently studying for his bachelor’s in politics and a minor in media studies, Duane Paul is interested in covering domestic as well as international political affairs that impact the lives of everyday people, whether they are young students, professionals, or faculty in higher education.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government3 days ago

NYC Passes Its Own Green New Deal to Combat Man-Made Climate Change

The Big Apple goes green.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality2 weeks ago

Massachusetts Outlaws LGBTQ Conversion Therapy For Minors

The Bay State is taking more steps to protect LGBTQIA+ youth.

by , The Catholic American University
Election 20203 weeks ago

A Majority of Americans Supporting Progressive Policies Nationwide

A more progressive union in the near future?

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 weeks ago

Maryland Will Rise its Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

The Free State raises its minimum wage to help its workers.

by , The Catholic American University
Education4 weeks ago

West Virginia Makes their Public Community Colleges Tuition Free for In-State Residents

The Mountain State is helping out its youth and their futures.

by , The Catholic American University
Government4 weeks ago

The DSA Endorses Bernie Sanders for President in 2020

America's largest socialist organization is feeling the Bern, again.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

Speaker Pelosi Endorsed Lowering the Voting Age to 16 years Old

The kids maybe alright to vote.

by , The Catholic American University
National News1 month ago

Here’s What We Know So Far About Operation Varsity Blues

A summary and the latest updates about the largest college admissions scandal to hit the country.

by , George Washington University

Most Read From CMN Writers