FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 13, 2019
Contact: Mac D’Alessandro, State Director
Contact: Jim Borghesani
Boston—The group behind the effort to enact ranked choice voting in Massachusetts today pointed to the re-election of Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia as a “textbook example” of why ranked choice voting is necessary to accurately reflect the will of voters.
“Yesterday we witnessed a subversion of democracy in Fall River. A mayor under federal indictment who was recalled by voters remains in office despite the fact that 65 percent of voters opposed his election. This is a textbook example of the type of defective outcome ranked choice voting would prevent,” said Mac D’Alessandro, State Director of Voter Choice Massachusetts.
Out of 13,546 votes cast among five candidates, an overwhelming majority—8,738, or 65 percent—went against Correia. But because the state’s current voting system allows candidates to prevail with a plurality, Correia was re-elected with a mere 35 percent.
Under ranked choice voting, voters would rank multiple candidates on the ballot in order of preference -- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and so on. If no candidate has earned a majority of 1st choices, this would trigger an “instant runoff” in which last place candidates would get eliminated one-by-one, their supporters’ votes would instantly count toward their next ranking, until one candidate has consolidated a majority and is declared the winner.
“Quite simply, ranked choice voting would have secured the outcome desired by a clear majority of Fall River voters yesterday. This is why voters in Maine used ranked choice voting for their federal and state elections last year, and why we need ranked choice voting in Massachusetts. We can no longer remain content with a system that rewards vote-splitting anomalies and ignores the will of voters,” said Voter Choice Policy Director Greg Dennis.
Legislation to bring Ranked Choice Voting to Massachusetts has been introduced in the State House by Senators Jason Lewis and Rebecca Rausch and Representatives Andy Vargas, Adrian Madaro, and Jennifer Benson. These bills would use Ranked Choice Voting for state primary and general elections, and make it easier for cities and towns to adopt it.
With over 25,000 supporters and thousands of donors across the Commonwealth, Voter Choice Massachusetts is the largest statewide movement for ranked choice voting in the nation. Ranked choice voting has earned the endorsements of political, business, and civic leaders across the spectrum, like former Governors Deval Patrick and Bill Weld, and over 84 state legislators.
Photo Credit: Fall River Flag, Kenneth C. Zirkel [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]