Coalition Builds Momentum for Ranked Choice Voting in Boston

The coalition group Ranked Choice Boston (RCB) announced the addition of a new partner to its campaign, as it continues to build momentum to promote rank choice voting in the City of Boston. RCB, along with the voting rights group MassVOTE, last night held a gathering with its new group partner Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE), a Latinx-led organization that advocates for inclusive democratic processes and just public policies to create a vibrant economy and environment for all of East Boston.

RCB has witnessed an increase of support from allied groups around the City with currently over thirty coalition members since its launching on August 2023, marking a significant step toward its collective mission to create a more just and inclusive democracy.

“Our most active members and volunteers have expressed that with the implementation of Rank Choice Voting, we strongly feel we have the opportunity to have authentic representation in Boston” said Enilda Lovo, Lead Coordinator of NUBE. “We are extremely excited at the possibility of enacting in the near future this fairer system of voting in Boston”

Among those who participated at the event include Boston At-Large City Councilors Julia Mejia and Henry Santana, City Councilor Enrique Pepén, and RCB Co-Chair Rahsaan Hall, who is President and CEO, Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts, as well as Latinx leaders from the East Boston community.

“We are proud to join fellow democracy advocates and justice seekers in this growing coalition to advance ranked choice voting. Our collective efforts will seek to mobilize Bostonians of every neighborhood to have a strong presence in their communities and at the ballot box,” said RCB Co-Chair Rahsaan Hall. 

RCB’s mission is to empower individuals and foster civic participation, ensuring that every voice is not only heard but also honored. To that end, RCB has called on the support of key voices in the voting rights and community empowerment space to help lead this effort with campaign Coalition Co-Chairs Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, Executive Director of MassVOTE; Tanisha Sullivan, Voting Rights advocate and President of the Boston NAACP; and Rahsaan Hall, President, CEO of Urban League of Eastern MA.

“Boston is excited for ranked choice voting. 62% of Boston voters supported Ranked Choice in 2020, and our coalition of supporters keeps growing. RCV is easy, equitable, and will give voice to all voters,” said RCB Director Ed Shoemaker. 

In addition to NUBE and MassVOTE, the coalition includes the New England United 4 Justice; Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts; Union Capital Boston; Right to the City Boston; Represent Women; Represent Us; Dunk the Vote; NAACP Boston; Boston Teachers Union; MPDC (Madison Park Development Corporation); Fairvote Action; South End-Roxbury community partnership; The RoxVote Coalition; Progressive WRox/Roz; JP Progressives; Veterans for All Voters; Brazilian Worker Center Inc.; Ward 15 Democratic Committee; Boston Ward 4 Democratic Committee; BLOC (Black Local Organizing Committee); Mass Dems Ward 11 Boston; Common Cause Massachusetts; MAHA (Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance); Our Revolution Massachusetts; ML (MassLandlords, Inc.); Not On My Watch Mentoring Inc.; Marcus Anthony Hall Educational Institute; Boston Ward 19; IRIE Jamaican Style Restaurant; YDMA (Young Democrats of Massachusetts).

RCB’s goal is to enact a Home Rule Petition for Ranked Choice Voting in Boston’s Municipal Elections, and will seek the backing of the Boston City Councilors to vote to submit the petition to the state legislature. This will need to pass the City Council with a minimum of 7 votes and have the support of the Mayor. Once that passes, it needs to be approved by the state legislature and then will likely require a referendum vote by Boston voters. This system of voting upgrades both preliminary and general elections to use ranked choice voting, for council district seats, council at large seats, and mayor, and will affect Boston’s elections for Mayor and City Council, both the preliminary and the general election.

What’s more, instead of being restricted to picking just one candidate, Ranked Choice Voting gives you the power to rank candidates in the order that you like them. With Ranked Choice Voting, your top choice is never harmed by ranking additional “backup” choices. And if your favorite candidate lacks the support to win, your ballot automatically counts for your next choice.

Boston has made incredible progress over this decade with diverse candidates competing for and winning office. In the 2021 mayoral preliminary election, an astounding 95% of Boston voters cast their vote for a woman of color. Ranked Choice Voting will protect and extend these gains. By allowing voters to express their wishes more fully with ranked ballots, Ranked Choice Voting is able to ensure that candidates with the greatest overall support of the broadest majority of voters win each election. In US cities in the past two decades, studies have shown that Ranked Choice Voting breaks down barriers to people of color and women, allowing them to run for office and win like never before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.