Louijeune wants a referendum on ‘ranked-choice’ ballot reform

Ruthzee Louijeune

The president of the Boston City Council planned to press this week for ranked choice voting in the city, an electoral reform that more than 1.8 million voters rejected for the entire state during the 2020 election. Ruthzee Louijeune’s office said on Monday that she was expected to file a home rule petition and seek a ballot referendum at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, noting that with this move she is seeking “to enhance voter engagement, ensure election legitimacy, and foster a more positive political discourse within the city.”

The voters in 2020 turned back what was labeled Question 2. It called for a ranked choice system in which voters would rank one or more candidates by order of preference and election winners would be determined after votes are counted in a series of rounds, unless a candidate secured more than 50 percent of the vote in the initial count. 

Some 1.88 million voters opposed the Question and about 1.55 million voters supported it. However, in Suffolk County, which comprises Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, nearly 184,000 voters favored the measure, with just over 122,000 voters opposed. 

According to Louijeune’s petition, the election reform “minimizes strategic voting, as voters can support their preferred candidate without fear that their choice might inadvertently benefit less favored candidates.” She is being joined in her effort by original proposal co-sponsors At-Large City Councillors Julia Mejia and Henry Santana.

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