AP: Mass. voters reject switch to ranked-choice voting

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FILE – In this Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, a summary of Ballot Question 2 on the Nov. 3 Massachusetts election ballot known as a “Ranked Choice Voting” law is displayed in Marlborough, Mass., in a handbook provided to voters by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Massachusetts voters have rejected Question 2 to move the state to a ranked-choice voting system, The Associated Press projects.

Question 2 asked state voters whether the state should switch to the new system starting in the 2022 election. Backers of the statewide referendum conceded defeat.

Under a ranked-choice system, voters would use their ballots to rank their favorites in multi-candidate races rather than select just one option.

If a candidate is the first choice of at least 50% of voters, he or she wins; if not, the candidate with the least support is eliminated from contention, and the votes of those who had originally backed that candidate are redistributed to their second choices. The process would continue until one candidate clears 50% of the vote and is declared the winner.

Question 2 had widespread support from prominent Massachusetts Democrats, but Republican Gov. Charlie Baker opposed the change.

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