Amherst moving towards ranked-choice voting

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The town of Amherst is moving in the direction of ranked-choice voting.

Ranked-choice voting is a way for voters to put candidates in order of preference, instead of voting for just one, or a set number of candidates. A report released on Monday on how to implement ranked-choice voting for town elections was presented to the town council.

The decision to implement ranked-choice voting was part of the town’s charter in 2018. According to the town manager of Amherst, Paul Bockelma, it won’t be easy to switch to the alternate form of voting.

“We would have to purchase the equipment and software to be able to accommodate ranked-choice voting. Second, we would need special legislation and approval from the state legislature and there would need to be a big educational effort for the townspeople to be able to utilize the voting,” Bockelma said.

The town has three months to decide if ranked-choice voting will be implemented for future town elections.

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