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Rank Choice Voting Gains Support, Yet Under Attack

Rank Choice Voting Gains Support, Yet Under Attack

Rank Choice Voting is gaining support. Most recently, the Massachusetts Democratic Party included Rack Choice Voting in their new platform. But don’t cheer too much for democracy just yet.

Last year, Maine adopted Rank Choice Voting. State Republicans have been fighting the voters’ decision ever since. The Maine Supreme Court now advises that Rank Choice Voting violates the state’s constitution.

“On Saturday, the Massachusetts Democratic Party adopted a new platform, including an amendment supporting ranked choice voting. This echoes a long history of support for ranked choice voting in the state. Ranked choice voting has been used in Cambridge municipal elections since 1941, while the Amherst Charter Commission proposed adopting it it for local elections last month…” ~ Shashank Vura

READ MORE: Massachusetts Democrats Back RCV at State Convention | Fair Vote

“Last fall, Maine voters passed an experiment in voting that no state has ever before tried: ranked-choice voting. It’s an experiment some say could change the national calculus against third parties, as I’ll explain below. But the state’s Republican-led Senate asked Maine’s Supreme Court to rule on the system — and the court recently issued an advisory ruling that ranked-choice violates the state constitution…” ~ Jack Santucci

READ MORE: Maine’s Citizens Passed ‘Ranked-Choice Voting.’ Why Did Republicans Shoot It Down? | The Washington Post

“…Reports of ranked-choice voting’s demise in Maine have been greatly exaggerated. The ruling was only advisory and resulted from a February request by Maine’s Senate. It was not the result of a lawsuit, which would be legally binding, and had no bearing on upcoming elections. It was really nothing more than guidance for the legislature to consider should it take further action…

Furthermore, the League of Women Voters has promised if the state legislature decides to act to block ranked-choice voting, the league will “support a constitutional amendment that is consistent with the will of Maine people,” [said] Jill Ward, president of the league’s Maine chapter…

Paul Rosenberg

READ MORE: Ranked-Choice Voting Is Still Alive in Maine — and Here’s Why It Matters | Salon

The Basics of Rank Choice Voting

The video below covers the basics of Rank Choice Voting. To learn more, visit

Fair Representation Voting


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends--with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. usfman

    This still does not solve the problem of getting people motivated to vote period but I like the idea.

    • JoAnn Chateau

      Perhaps the less people perceive elections as being rigged, the more likely they will vote.

  2. Keith

    JoAnn, I wholeheartedly endorse this for two simple reasons, as noted in the video. It is far cheaper than running a “run off” election. And, these more expensive run off elections yield pitiful turnout. I have seen them too often have less than 10% turnout.

    It won’t happen in our state of North Carolina, as we have just had three General Assembly sponsored voting actions (Voter ID, US Congressional district gerrymandering and State Representative district gerrymandering) ruled unconstitutional by SCOTUS. This GOP led assembly wants to suppress votes and considering how to get a new and improved Voter ID law through rather than accepting that it is discriminatory.


    • JoAnn Chateau

      It’s a sad situation when a party’s candidates can’t get votes based on platform policies – and yet they have the power to sway political outcomes. With time and diligence, I hope we the people will turn this around.

      • Keith

        JoAnn, I agree. If you must suppress turnout to win, your ideas have less veracity. Keith

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