Voter Choice Massachusetts hosted our first-ever beer election on Monday, April 10th, 2017. Who new that craft beer could be such an effective learning tool?
We teamed up with Nerd Nite Noho, a local community educational event, and The People's Pint, a sustainable and eco-conscious brewer based out of Greenfield, MA. Nerd Nite invites two speakers per month to present on topics ranging from politics to pop culture, the sciences to the arts. We heard a fantastic presentation about the concept of Greenwashing, followed by a lecture from our Policy Director, Greg Dennis, entitled "No Spoiler Alerts: Ranked Choice Voting Explained."
As an illustrative tool, we also hosted a ranked choice beer election in conjunction with the lecture, thanks to the help of our venue, The Deuce (WWII Club) in Northampton, MA. Attendees were given a beer "ticket" featuring a roster of five different People's Pint brews. They then had the opportunity to sample each one, and rank them in order of preference.
We had a total of forty-one votes cast, which we then compiled through a web-based tabulation tool called OpaVote. After round one of the beer runoff, Early Green Pale Ale was in the lead with a plurality of 36% of the vote, though it lacked a true majority (50% +1). The IPA was the least favored in the first round, and so was eliminated first. Voters who ranked the IPA as their top choice then had their votes transferred to their 2nds, and another round of elimination took place. This was repeated through four rounds, wherein we saw a coalition forming around the Early Green Pale Ale. By the end, Early Green emerged as the victor, having secured both the plurality and majority wins.