Ranked Choice Voting goes down in flames...
You may have missed it in the confusion overnight, but one of the most important things for Massachusetts to come out of last night’s election was the demise of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV).
Ranked Choice Voting is problematic for many reasons, including its negative effects on voter turnout and the loss of confidence in the democratic process it instills in so many. The limited benefits of RCV do not outweigh the significant cost. At its core, Ranked Choice Voting is simply a way to redistribute votes to ensure that electoral losers become winners.
RCV was repealed in Worcester and last year, voters in Lowell rejected it. Now, Massachusetts has spoken. RCV was handily rejected statewide by a margin of 1,662,168 votes (55%) to 1,367,552 votes (45%).
The RCV campaign was being funded by out-of-state billionaires who shoveled over $10 million into the campaign to try to convince residents to vote for this boondoggle. Their main financial backers were a Texas billionaire and members of the George Soros and Rupert Murdoch families.
Luckily, Massachusetts residents were too smart for that.
Last November, MassFiscal offered legislative testimony highlighting some of the concerns with RCV. MassFiscal invited former Chairman of the Federal Election Commissioner Lee Goodman to speak to lawmakers. The Fiscal Alliance Foundation asked Lee to speak to the media about the costs associated with RCV.
Over the summer, MassFiscal was pleased to have the opportunity to write up the argument against RCV that appeared in the official Massachusetts voter guidebook detailing our state’s ballot questions which you can see here. The voter guide was mailed to every voter across the state.
MassFiscal board members and members volunteered many hours over the last few months to make appearances at civic forums, TV interviews, radio shows, and media interviews across the Commonwealth to debate the merits of RCV. They had to video conference into media interviews or civic meetings, including nights and weekends, to educate the public on the many shortcomings of this flawed voting process. They took time away from their families and jobs to ensure as many residents of Massachusetts as possible were well educated about RCV before they went to the polls. At times, they were called liars, racists and bullied by the opposing side.
We would like to especially thank some outstanding volunteers in the effort, including MassFiscal board members Jennifer Braceras and Paul Diego Craney, member Anthony Amore, former FEC Chairman Lee Goodman, Nick Murray of the Maine Policy Institute, former Maine Congressman Bruce Poliquin, and the volunteers who delivered educational materials and posted informative stories to their social media pages.
We would also like to recognize media opinion commentators like Jeff Jacoby, Howie Carr, VB, Jeff Kuhner, the editorial boards at The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Herald, The Eagle Tribune, The Salem News, The Gloucester Daily News, The Newburyport Daily News, and The Springfield Republican, for all endorsing against RCV.
Lastly, we also would like to recognize the bi-partisan group of elected officials and prominent political activists who spoke out publicly against RCV. Jim Lyons, who chairs the Massachusetts Republican Party took an official position against RCV, along with both Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who spoke out against RCV last week. Both Republicans and Democrats took time out of their busy lives to speak up against RCV. For all these efforts, we are grateful.
While the RCV out of state billionaires spent over $10 million to try to make Massachusetts a guinea pig for their ideas, according to data from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance the official “No Ranked Choice Committee” spent less than $10,000 to stop it. That’s less than a cent per vote for the No side compared to $7.41 per vote on the Yes side. It was a true grassroots effort. We won, but the really winners are the people of Massachusetts!
If you would like to support MassFiscal and help us continue our important work, please make a donation now at www.MassFiscal.org/donate. Thank you.