JUNE 2, 2018 -- Thirty-five Voter Choice Massachusetts volunteers conducted a wall-to-wall organizing campaign at this year's Democratic Convention, held on June 1st and 2nd in Worcester. We took the convention by storm, signing up 1,250 new supporters, including 91 new donors who gave on the spot, and over a dozen new endorsements from high-profile elected officials and candidates.
Current candidates and office-holders expressed their commitment to Ranked Choice Voting. Congressman Jim McGovern (CD2) signed on in support in the exhibition hall. And many more joined our Voter Choice catered breakfast to woo the crowd. These included both Democratic candidates for Governor Bob Massie and Jay Gonzalez; Lt. Governor candidate Quentin Palfrey; current Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin, and his primary challenger Josh Zakim; and the leading Congressional candidates for the crowded 3rd District, including Jeff Ballinger, Alexandra Chandler, Beej Das, Daniel Koh, Barbara L’Italien, Bopha Malone, Juana Matias, and Lori Trahan. Candidate Alexandra Chandler stated:
“I am proud to say, unequivocally, I endorse ranked choice voting. I think it is overdue, and it’s not just because I’m in that massive primary. It’s that we see it time and time again; this would be a game-changer for positive outcomes for elections that actually reflect voter preference.”
As Chandler noted, the crowded primary for the 3rd Congressional District this year will be subject to vote-splitting and “spoilers” that plague our plurality voting system, and curtail the party’s ability to nominate someone with the greatest overall support.
Our audience used our sample CD3 ballots to experience first-hand how ranked choice voting solves this problem in a simple and elegant way. Josh Zakim, candidate for Secretary of the Commonwealth, lauded this approach:
“I love seeing the 'Try out ranked choice voting' ballots for the 3rd CD; it’s something I use as an example when people are asking me about ranked choice voting for Massachusetts, and why it’s a good idea to make sure that -- when we are electing people -- we’re electing them with a majority to address issues around having more civil discourse.”
Said Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin:
“I’m very interested in the concept of ranked choice voting, I want to see what happens in Maine… And then I think we want to move forward to implement it in an effective way here in Massachusetts.”
From our booth presence in the concourse at the Worcester DCU Center, to our breakfast room where many delegates and candidates gathered, to the floor of the convention hall -- our 35 volunteers struck up thousands of conversations with convention-goers. By the end of the day on Saturday, we signed up over 20% of the 6,000 attendees as new supporters of ranked choice voting! That’s 1,250 Mass Dems who told us that they are ready for better elections.
Even more powerful were those willing to go beyond moral support: 280 people committed to volunteering for Voter Choice Massachusetts, and 91 people gave a cash, check, or credit card donation on the spot. These donors gave a combined total of $2,100 which goes directly back into our educational outreach.
Are you a part of an organization that still needs an RCV briefing? Many of the valuable connections we made at the convention will lead to a host of new RCV presentations around the state. Are you a member of a political or community group that wants to learn more about ranked choice voting? Schedule a speaker for your next meeting or event by contacting email@example.com to arrange a free RCV briefing. You can view our pool of talented speakers on our Speaker's Bureau page.
Onward and upward!