Opposing Ranked Choice Voting

In 2020, the voters of Massachusetts overwhelming opposed a ballot question to allow for ranked choice voting (RCV). Nearly 80 percent of the state's towns and cities rejected the ballot question despite the proponents spending nearly $10 million dollars while the opponents spent less than $10,000. Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance supports efforts to educate the public on the problems associated with RCV and defend the will of the voters who soundly rejected the ballot question.

RCV claims to select a candidate with the most support from the voters, however, RCV only determines a winner by eliminating votes from voters who do not select the two candidates last standing. If this sounds confusing, its because it is. Unless a voter can correctly guess which two candidates will survive the last round of RCV, that voter's vote is discarded along the way in order for RCV to select a winner.

RCV claims it discourages negative campaigning since candidates will fight for second place voting and subsequent rankings. In reality, negative campaigning will always remain and RCV simply shifts the negative campaigning to Super PACs and outside organizations. Candidates should freely debate the issues and the candidates they disagree with, it allows the voters to clearly see the difference between candidates. With RCV, negative campaigning will continue and candidates will feel even less encouraged to provide a contrast.

RCV claims it eliminates a 'spoiler' candidate, meaning a candidate that is not from one of the two major political parties (Republican and Democratic) will have the ability to compete for votes since voters can rank all the candidates. In reality, RCV simply allows for another type of spoiler candidate, as fringe candidates with fringe ideas will get more attention in elections and can alter the outcome of the Republican or Democratic candidates. Elections should not be determined by fringe candidates who will get more attention simply because they are running in a RCV election.

Ranked Choice Voting elections are bad for Massachusetts and bad for democracy. They are confusing, don't deliver on their promises, and allow for political activists to influence the outcome. Keep Massachusetts elections simple with one person and one vote.

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