Ranked-choice voting is a better way to vote

By Elizabeth Warren and Jamie Raskin |  September 18, 2020

Across the country nearly 1,000 people are dying each day from COVID-19, an infectious disease that should have been under control by now. The economy is being squeezed to its breaking point. The fight for racial justice has reached an inflection point and demands bold action. And from postal sabotage to old-fashioned voter purges, voting — the very foundation of our democracy and an essential instrument for change — is under siege.

To defend our democracy, we need to fortify it. One way is by strengthening the principle of majority rule while defending and protecting the rights of all individuals, including those in the minority. Massachusetts voters have a chance to do just that in November by approving ranked-choice voting on Question 2.

Although many people believe that majority rule is a core part of what it means to be a democracy, numerous examples show why this isn’t the case in the American system of government. In two of the last five presidential elections, the antiquated Electoral College system has propelled two popular-vote losers (George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016) to the Oval Office. The Senate is still tied up in knots with the anti-majoritarian filibuster rule. And, in far too many other races, elected officials win not because they actually earn anything near a majority of the votes but because they collect a few more votes than the runners-up. That is how the current plurality system works.

To fix this, communities across the country — from Maine to California, and even here in Amherst and Cambridge — have taken steps to safeguard our democracy by adopting ranked-choice voting.

So how does ranked-choice voting work? Under the current plurality system, each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate

The Boston Globe