• Explore Boston

Most of Massachusetts Voters Say No to Ranked-Choice Voting even with Majority of Boston voting Yes!

Many people believed that ranked-choice voting would succeed in Massachusetts. After all, it was a measure that would help solve one of the primary criticisms many people have always had about the voting process.

While there are plenty of occasions where only two politicians compete for a single position, there are also situations where at least three people are doing so. When a particularly large number of politicians are racing against one another, the politician who wins was still technically only supported by a minority of voters.

In situations like this, a group of people were essentially able to split the vote, which is something that a lot of people understandably find frustrating. Ranked-choice voting gives people the chance to subvert that trend. They could make it clear who their second or third candidate choice was when voting in a particular category. This system more or less gives people the chance to vote more than once in the same exact election, since in some cases, that really is the fair option.

Maine is already a state that famously has used ranked-choice voting for a long time, and it has been working well for them. There are also plenty of individual American cities that have used this type of voting for a while without any issues. Minneapolis in Minnesota is one of them. So is Cambridge in Massachusetts itself, so there is already a precedent for this sort of thing in the very state that was voting on it. Plenty of the areas that favor this sort of voting tend to be disproportionately liberal.

Massachusetts is famously one of the most liberal parts of the country, so a lot of people assumed that people in the state would support a measure that tends to be favored in areas with that political alignment. Since this was a measure that was backed up with a lot of money, it seemed even more likely that it would be almost an afterthought once the votes were counted. People more or less assumed that Massachusetts would allow this sort of voting everywhere, and not just in Cambridge.

However, despite the support from a lot of major politicians and powerful people, the majority of people in Massachusetts just did not vote for ranked-choice voting and make it a reality for everyone. Exactly 54.9 percent of the voters in Massachusetts voted against this measure, with the rest of the people voting in favor of it. There was no third option, so it is clear who won.

The governor did not actually support ranked-choice voting, and this might have been a factor in the results overall. Still, it had support from plenty of other people, and millions of dollars behind it. The results are somewhat surprising.

Of course, this still means that it was opposed by a plurality of people in the state, and not an absolute majority. Still, that sort of result is very common in American politics in general. Few areas see eye-to-eye on absolutely everything, even in a state known for very progressive politics.

It's important to note that ranked-choice voting was actually popular in Boston. All of the results related to this question have been recorded in Boston. A total of 61.7 percent of the voters in Boston voted in favor of ranked-choice voting in the state of Massachusetts. Only 38.3 percent of the Boston voters were against it.

Of course, many political science experts have noted that plenty of voters just don't answer the detailed questions that appear on ballots. Many eligible voters don't vote at all, even in presidential elections. However, even when people have ballots in their hands, they might not fill out the entire thing.

There are nearly seven hundred thousand people in the city of Boston. Only around two hundred and fifty thousand people voted on ranked-choice voting in either direction. In some parts of Massachusetts, only two hundred people answered this question and voted on this issue.

This result actually might not reflect what the majority of people in the state actually think. A lot of them probably didn't know about ranked-choice voting, or they did not really have an opinion about it one way or another.

ExploreBoston.com | Privacy | Unsubscribe