Ranked-choice voting is coming to Amherst. 

The Amherst Town Council Monday adopted a Ranked-choice Voting Commission. It’s a system that allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, essentially letting you rank candidates from your favorite to your least favorite.

This would allow people who voted for candidates that weren’t the top vote-getters to still influence the outcome of the election.

“Ranked-choice voting will happen in Amherst because there is no provision of any other election after this 2019 election to occur that way,” Amherst Town Manager, Paul Bockelman said.

Ranked-choice voting is mandated in the town charter, which was adopted by voters back in March. Maine recently held its second election using ranked-choice voting in November. 

Amherst Town officials said it should be ready to use in the 2021 elections. 

“What we have right now is a council that really doesn’t look like the community,” Amherst Town Councilor, Evan Ross said. “We have a council with a median age of 67, we have one person of color and so what I think we will see moving forward once we have ranked choice voting is we are going to see a council that is more representative of what our council actually looks like.”

The 13 newly-elected Amherst Town Council was just inaugurated the first week of December. 

The council will be seeking residents to serve on the Ranked-choice Voting Council.