Our Revolution Massachusetts (ORMA) supports Voting Reform in order to assure our elections and electoral systems are as fair, accessible, and efficient as possible for all eligible voters. Practical solutions for Massachusetts include Ranked Choice Voting and Election Day Registration.
Nationwide, our electoral system is broken, error-strewn, and subject to partisan manipulation. Since 2008, states across the country have passed numerous measures — including strict photo ID requirements, registration restrictions, cuts to early voting, and purges of voter rolls — to make it harder to vote, particularly for people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities. ORMA’s vision for the future of this country is one in which every voter has easy access to the ballot box including a recognized federal holiday on election day and automatic and same-day voter registration, and where ranked choice voting has been enacted to promote positive campaigning and encourage the participation of more candidates and parties, ultimately ensuring outcomes that more accurately reflect the will of the people.
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows voters to rank candidates on a ballot in order of preference, rather than choosing only one candidate. See the example at right, this video of Elizabeth Warren and Maura Healey explaining RCV, or this descriptive video.
RCV ensures majority support, minimizes strategic voting, promotes diversity, curbs negative campaigning, promotes party unity, saves money, and increases voter turnout. Our ally Voter Choice Massachusetts has been leading the effort with the bifurcated strategy of securing 120,000 signatures so that RCV can appear on the 2020 ballot and by working on the following bills in the Massachusetts legislature:
S.414 and H.719, sponsored by Senator Lewis, Representative Vargas, and Representative Madaro, would enact RCV for all state offices, both primary and general elections.
S.420 and H.635, sponsored by Senator Rausch and Representative Benson, would create a local option for cities and towns to use RCV for their municipal races by passing a law, without changing their charter as is currently required in most cases.
In August 2018, Massachusetts became the 14th state in the country to adopt an Automatic Voter Registration system set to take effect January 1, 2020. Since that date, eligible voters are automatically registered when they interact with the Registry of Motor Vehicles and MassHealth, unless they opt out. However, to cast a vote in Massachusetts, citizens must register to vote at least 20 days before an election, before media coverage really heats up and before candidates make their last push to educate and engage voters in the election. The arbitrary deadline acts to exclude eligible citizens who might otherwise be eager to vote.
ORMA supports Election Day Registration (EDR), which will provide eligible citizens the opportunity to register and vote on Election Day. EDR is already in place in 15 other states and Washington, D.C., and has been shown to boost turnout by up to 7 points with a decreased dependence on provisional ballots and without any reported increase in voter fraud.
S.396 and H.685, sponsored by Senator Creem, Representative Malia, and Representative Vargas, eliminates the 20-day registration cutoff and allows eligible residents to register or re-register and vote on Election Day and during the early voting period.
ORMA calls on members and affiliates to:
- Lobby their state representatives and Democratic/Republican Committees to co-sponsor and support Voting Reform legislation.
- Identify Voting Reform issues directly impacting the location where you live.
- Participate in op-eds, letters to the editor, call-ins, town halls, public forums, stand outs, meetings, and coalitions, and support ally events.
- Pass warrant articles & resolutions to support Voting Reform.
- Host Voting Reform, activities, meetings, education forums and coalition events.
- Join or build Voting Reform coalitions.
ORMA will coordinate with ally organizations to become even more effective and unified with larger regional groups, forming or joining a coalition with the objectives of coalition planning, joint actions and building awareness.
ORMA success will be measured by:
- Increased number of local Democratic/Republican Committee endorsements & resolutions supporting Voting Reform legislation.
- Co-sponsorship from state and federal representatives.
- Large turn out at events.
- Passage of Ranked Choice Voting in Massachusetts.
- Passage of Election Day Registration in Massachusetts.
We need the strength of OUR grassroots movement to win Voting Reform.
Thank you for supporting this movement.
Without YOU this ORMA priority would not be achievable!
Please submit your ORMA priority events, suggestions, achievements, questions, and proposals to Priorities@OurRevolutionMA.com