Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts


A petition filed by Voter Choice Massachusetts, a non-partisan, non-profit organization, was certified by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on September 4, 2019, to implement ranked-choice voting, starting in 2022, for “primary and general elections for all Massachusetts statewide offices, state legislative offices, federal congressional offices, and certain other offices,” according to a summary of the measure provided by the AG’s office.

Voter Choice has until Dec. 4 to collect 80,239 signatures on its petition. If they reach that mark, state lawmakers will get the opportunity to pass the measure or propose a substitute next year.

If the legislature does not pass the measure by May 6, ranked choice supporters will have to collect 13,374 more signatures to file with state and local election officials by July. If successful, the measure will be placed on the 2020 ballot.




The City of Cambridge has used an at-large, proportional representation form of RCV to elect their City Council and School Committee since 1941. (www.voterchoicema.org)


Amherst became the second community in the state to mandate the adopting of instant run-off voting in its new charter. Starting with the municipal election in 2021, the town will be using Ranked Choice Voting to elect all elected officials. (Amherst Bulletin, 7/19/19)


The Charter Review Committee recommended in May, 2019, that the city adopt significant changes to municipal elections, including implementing ranked-choice voting. Massachusetts law requires that the City submit the change to the Mass. Legislature for approval. It is likely that the Legislature will require the City to demonstrate public support with a ballot question, which could take place during city elections in 2021 or in a special election. If passed by voters in 2021, ranked choice voting would be implemented in the municipal elections of 2023. (https://www.gazettenet.com/Northampton-Charter-Review-Committee-votes-on-recommendations-25713813)


The City Council approved amendments to Easthampton’s charter in May, 2019, that would implement ranked-choice voting for precinct city councilors and the mayor. City voters in November will ultimately decide whether the changes go into effect as the charter amendments will appear as ballot questions. (https://www.gazettenet.com/Easthampton-city-council-hold-public-hearing-on-4-year-mayor-term-and-ranked-choice-voting-25581213)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *