BOSTON (SHNS) – The Question 2 campaign, which would allow multi-candidate races to be settled through a new ranked-choice voting system, has added East Boston Rep. Adrian Madaro as an honorary co-chair and boasts a list of 15 senators and 33 state representatives who have endorsed the initiative petition.
Madaro and Rep. Andres Vargas are cosponsors of a ranked-choice voting bill (H 719) that stalled out on Beacon Hill, triggering the ballot effort. A review of the bill history shows the Election Laws Committee received it at the start of 2019 and held a public hearing on it last November, but has held onto the bill without making a recommendation.
The proposal aims to prevent winning candidates from emerging with less than 50 percent of the votes cast by allowing voters to rank candidates. If no candidate has a clear majority after the votes are first counted, the results would be recalculated after he candidate who received the fewest first place votes is eliminated.
Votes on ballots that ranked the eliminated candidate as the top choice would be reassigned to a voter’s second choice, and the process would repeat until one candidate receives a majority. “Voters win when elections provide more choices and democracy wins when elections are won by a true majority,” said Madaro. “Ranked Choice Voting means more fairness and better representation in Massachusetts politics.”
Madaro joined eight other honorary co-chairs, including former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, Bain Capital Co-chairman Steve Pagliuca, NAACP Boston Branch President Tanisha Sullivan, and Harvard University President Emeritus Lawrence Summers.
At a virtual forum last week, supporters cast the system as a simple fix to elections, while opponents said it will turn voting into a confusing thicket.