Around New England

Ayanna Pressley Supports Ranked-Choice Voting Ballot Question

October 24, 2020

U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley is supporting the ranked-choice-voting ballot question in Massachusetts.

Pressley (D-Dorchester), who is one of the four members of the left-wing group of Democratic women of color known as “The Squad,” tweeted a photo of a yard sign Saturday, October 24 saying “Yes on 2.”

“Anybody yard twinning with me?” she asked.

Ranked-choice voting would allow voters to number their selections on the ballot instead of voting for one candidate. The lower-choice selections of candidates who finish below the top two vote-getters would then be used to determine the winner of the election in cases where the top vote-getter gets less than a majority.

It’s supported by mostly left-of-center groups, who foresee left-wing third-party candidates drawing support without torpedoing the prospects of more mainstream Democratic candidates. That happened in Maine in November 2018, when a Republican member of Congress won a plurality of votes but lost to the Democrat, whose combined first-place votes and lower-place selections from two lesser candidates put him over the top.

Some supporters also predict it would encourage more candidates with various points of view and would encourage leading candidates to try to appeal to voters with smaller-minority points of view, since those voters’ second-place or third-place connections could put a candidate over what he needs.

Opponents say ranked choice voting effectively gives some voters more than one vote and they don’t object to a candidate winning a race with a plurality that is less than a majority. Some Republican opponents predict that ranked-choice voting would favor Democrats.