Showing posts with label instant runoff voting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label instant runoff voting. Show all posts

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Massachusetts Bill Would Add Rank Choice Voting to Presidential Primary Ballots for Military/Overseas Voters

FHQ mentioned this one before, but it was still at the draft stage when the Vermont bill was introduced (and discussed) back in February.

However, the draft bill in Massachusetts to allow instant run-off voting for military and overseas voters has now become introduced on the House side in the General Court. H 609 would allow military personnel and overseas voters to rank their preferences in a presidential nomination race in order to avoid the problem of potential wasted votes. This is a particularly acute problem in a sequential, state-by-state presidential nomination process in which the field continually winnows. Wasted votes are more prevalent in a scenario in which overseas voters make decisions without full certainty about the candidates who are actually in the field at the point on the calendar on which a state primary is due to be conducted.

New Hampshire voters, for instance, would have a full (or fuller) set of candidates to choose from in January/February than Massachusetts voters participating in a March 1 primary. But if one is overseas and voting in advance, one does not have advance knowledge of what the field will look like on March 1 after the first few contests in the carve-out states.

Again, as is the case in the Vermont situation, this is a clever way of overcoming some of the issues attendant to overseas voting in the presidential nomination process.

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NOTE: There are at least four other active bills in the Massachusetts House to bring rank choice voting into elections more broadly.


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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vermont Bill Would Add Rank Choice Voting to Presidential Primary Ballots for Military/Overseas Voters

Legislation has been introduced in Vermont to allow military personnel and other overseas voters to utilize rank choice voting in presidential primaries.

Vermont has in-person absentee voting in the 45 days before an election, but the proposal in H 115 would allow those voters overseas and/or in the military to cast a rank choice vote in a presidential primary. The secretary of state in Vermont would prepare the ballot as usual, but military/overseas voters would rank all of the candidates based on preference instead of choosing just one from the pool of candidates. If the most preferred candidate has dropped out/withdrawn from the race by the time of the Vermont primary on March 1, then the highest choice among the remaining active candidates would receive the vote.

For example, if voter X overseas has a rank ordering on his or her ballot of George Pataki followed by Jeb Bush (then the rest), and Pataki has withdrawn, then Bush receives the vote.

This is a clever way of avoiding a wasted vote in a situation where ballots have to go out to military personnel well in advance of primary election day when the field of candidates is still in flux.

NOTE: There is also similar draft legislation in Massachusetts (HD 2394). The Bay state also has a March 1 primary.

Recent Posts:
North Carolina: 2016's Rogue State?

Utah Again Linked to Possible Western Regional Primary

SEC Primary Bill Finds Early Support in Mississippi House Committee

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