New Generation of MA Legislators Supports RCV

The 2018 elections brought fresh energy into US and Massachusetts politics including a next generation of leaders advocating for Ranked Choice Voting. Three of four new Massachusetts State Senators back RCV. The incoming class of first-time State Representatives includes eight RCV advocates.

 

These freshly-minted elected officials join numerous veteran legislators who support Ranked Choice Voting, including Senators Pat Jehlen and Jamie Eldridge, and State Representatives like Andy Vargas, Sarah Peake, Natalie Higgins, Mike Connolly, and many more. All in all, only one month into the Voter Choice Massachusetts 200 Coffees campaign, more than 40 seated Massachusetts legislators support Ranked Choice Voting -- see the full list at voterchoicema.org/supporters.

What the “new kids on the block” have to say

 

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Senator Jo Comerford, Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester District

“Massachusetts just became the 14th state in the nation to win Automatic Voter Registration (AVR)... But there’s more we can do, including Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). RCV helps guarantee fair outcomes by ensuring that the candidate with the most support wins. It can also increase voter turnout, help create more positive campaigns and campaigning, and help people invest more in their vote. And, with more candidates in the race, more issues get talked about. It’s a virtuous cycle. A theory behind RCV is that it’s not the fault of electoral candidates who spoil elections, it’s the electoral system that’s spoiled. To win RCV in Massachusetts, we need to pass S.380 which would allow cities and towns to bring in this voting option.” 1

 

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Senator Rebecca Rausch, Norfolk, Bristol & Middlesex District

“I support ranked choice voting and look forward to working with colleagues in both chambers of the Legislature to craft and implement viable, effective legislation implementing RCV in Massachusetts.” 1

 

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Senator Diana DiZoglio, 1st Essex District (former State Rep)

“I am supportive of the idea of ranked choice voting, which will help to ensure the candidate with a majority of support prevails.” 1

 

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Representative Nika Elugardo, 15th Suffolk District

“I support Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) because it is good for democracy. RCV allows voters to vote for multiple candidates in the order they prefer them. This allows candidates to be chosen based on a consensus of majority support. RCV also automates the process, reduces cost and still ensures that every vote counts. It encourages civic participation and gives candidates a chance who may be less well known but who do the work to recruit lots of support for their candidacy. Research shows that where RCV is used there is less negative campaigning and voters are more satisfied with elections. It is correlated with more women and people of color running and winning elected office -- it can be part of the solution of these groups being underrepresented on Beacon Hill. RCV is a good partner to automatic voter registration.” 2

 

Representative Natalie Blais, 1st Franklin District

“I have publicly stated my support for Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts. With seven people in my race, I know many people have struggled with who to vote for in this “winner take all” system. Ranked Choice Voting levels the playing field. It ensures majority support, minimizes strategic voting, promotes diverse candidates, curbs negative campaigning and boosts voter turnout. Sounds like a winning idea to me!” 1

 

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Representative Tami Gouveia, 14th Middlesex District

“I first learned about Ranked Choice Voting 20 years ago as an undergraduate at Mt. Holyoke College. The implementation of this system struck me as common sense then and it still does today. We need a voting system that expands individuals’ ability to vote based on their values and hopes, rather than from fear of the spoiler effect. In 2016, 15% of registered voters stated they didn’t vote because they didn’t feel their vote would make a difference. We need to fix this. Everyone should feel their vote matters and RCV is an important step in making this happen. Massachusetts should follow in the footsteps of Maine and various local municipalities in implementing RCV. As State Representative, I will be a vocal advocate for bringing RCV to fruition and ensuring that our democracy is vibrant and inclusive to all.” 1

 

Representative Mindy Domb, 3rd Hampshire District

“YES! I support ranked choice voting, and other voting reforms that will help support voter engagement and voter participation, including: same day registration, no excuse (easy) absentee voting, early voting, and exploring weekend election day. We need to make voting easier. I am eager to work on the growing "to-do" list that will be before the State Legislature in the next session, including voting reforms. #MakeVotingEasier” 3

 

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Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, 1st Hampshire District

"The 'spoiler effect' is one of the greatest pitfalls of our current two candidate system, but ranked choice voting would put an end to that. Ranked choice voting would not only solve the 'spoiler effect' issue, it would also open up elections to new voices in the form of first time and third party candidates without creating hostility within the race. I also firmly believe ranked choice would increase civic engagement. Voter apathy caused by the belief that one’s vote does not actually matter leads to low voter turnout. When voters are allowed to rank their candidates, they are energized to show up to the polls." 1

 

Representative Maria Robinson, 6th Middlesex District

"I have long been supportive of ranked choice voting for elections in Massachusetts; in fact, it is how voting worked in my college extracurricular groups. Voters should be able to know that their vote will not be thrown away, and this will ensure that the values and beliefs of the majority of voters are more accurately reflected."1

Other Newly Elected Supporters

Representatives Tommy Vitolo and Daniel Carey have also indicated their support for Ranked Choice Voting. Another RCV endorser, former State Rep and former State Senator, Barry Finegold, returns to the Massachusetts Senate after a three-year hiatus, and has indicated voting rights issues as a priority.

Big, Warm Welcome

Please join Voter Choice Massachusetts in welcoming these public servants who are dedicated to better elections for Massachusetts into their offices!

200 Coffees bringing Beacon Hill together for RCV

Voter Choice Massachusetts volunteers and supporters are meeting as constituents over a cup of coffee with all two hundred Massachusetts legislators. These meetings are opportunities to celebrate the commitment of longtime Ranked Choice Voting champions in the State House. We’re also growing the movement by earning the backing of officials who are eager to learn about this reform that is transforming Maine and promises better elections and a healthier and more robust political culture across the USA.

Constituents of Sarah Peake, State Rep of the 4th Barnstable District, meeting with her this November over coffee to share why they value Ranked Choice Voting and to earn her support.

Learn about Ranked Choice Voting

Find out what all the buzz is about! About RCV |  How RCV Works

Seize the moment

Sign up here to join the 200 Coffees campaign to galvanize support on Beacon Hill, to host a house party and share RCV with your friends, or to participate in other important volunteer actions.

Fund the movement

Donate here to keep activities promoting Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts moving forwards by helping pay for our dedicated full-time staff, materials, promotional budgets, and much more. Achieving RCV in Maine cost several million dollars over a five year effort, and success in Massachusetts by 2020 will require a similar amount of funding. Your contribution helps unlock critical matching donations. Invest today in our democracy and future.

 

Sources:

1 - Rep.US Voter Guide Candidate Questionnaire 2018

2 - Jamaica Plain News, April 20, 2018

3 - MindyForMA facebook post