After chaotic House race, some call for new voting system

Boston Statehouse
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The crowded and chaotic Democratic congressional primary that is now being recounted has fueled calls from election reform advocates for Massachusetts to adopt a system allowing voters to rank candidates on the ballot rather than select just a single one.

Ten candidates were vying for their party’s nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. The top two vote-getters in the Sept. 4 primary, Lori Trahan and Dan Koh, wound up separated by only a few dozen votes after the initial count.

In a ranked-choice voting system, voters can rank candidates numerically, from their No. 1 choice down to their least favorite.

Maine became the first U.S. state to use ranked-choice voting in a primary election in June.

Legislation to allow ranked-choice voting was filed on Beacon Hill last year. It didn’t advance.

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