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August 15, 2023 ·

A new coalition of nonprofits and advocacy organizations is launching a campaign to implement ranked-choice voting in Boston municipal elections.

The move follows a failed 2020 ballot campaign to create a ranked-choice voting system in state elections. But data from that election show a majority of Boston voters, nearly 62%, approved of the approach that allows voters to indicate support for multiple candidates, in order of preference.

“I think people are ready for this, this is not rocket science,” said MassVote Executive Director Cheryl Crawford, who is a co-chair of the Ranked Choice Boston campaign.

Under a ranked-choice system, if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is knocked out and their tallies are redistributed to their voters’ second choices. The process repeats until one candidate emerges with a majority.

“The person that really, truly gets the most support is the person that actually gets elected,” Crawford said. “It eliminates that whole vote-splitting and spoiler problem that we’ve had in the past.”

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