Boston Celtics’ assistant GM Mike Zarren pushes for ranked-choice voting, end of a system that ‘to me isn’t democracy’

By Tom Westerholm  |  October 14, 2020

Members of the Ranked Choice Voting Committee 2020 faced an odd obstacle in their bid to get an initiative on the Massachusetts ballot earlier this year: During the COVID-19 pandemic, they were trying to put together the first initiative in American history to collect every necessary signature online.

Fortunately for the committee, it had a unique backer in its attempt at a unique feat: Boston Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren, who sits on the committee’s board of directors.

Zarren is too busy with the business of helping run an NBA team to phone bank, but he has played an important role in a rising push to change how Massachusetts voters cast their ballots. He has analyzed data extensively for the campaign, and his profile has helped boost its popularity. To help the committee reach its requisite number of signatures, he acted as an emcee — bringing together people interested in the issue as well as Celtics fans curious to hear what an executive had to say from the bubble.

Committee for Ranked-Choice Voting co-founder Cara McCormick, who helped run Maine’s successful campaign for ranked-choice voting in 2016, called Zarren a “natural leader.”
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