The Globe recently editorialized about how few incumbents are facing contested elections (âIncumbents Rule,â Boston Globe, June 3, 2006). With 68 percent of state Senate and Representative seats currently uncontested, Massachusetts ranks near the bottom of competitive elections in the U.S.
When politicians get a free ride, citizenâs voices are excluded from public policy.
Passage of the âBallot Freedomâ initiative would give voters a helpful tool to address the lack of competition in Massachusetts politics. Ballot Freedom would make it possible for voters to unite behind an alternative partyâs platform, but cast their vote in coalition with a major partyâs candidate.
This âopen ballotâ approach would give independent, issue-based parties the opportunity to grow, without having to ask supporters to waste their vote on a candidate who canât win. Giving new political parties more options will make our elections more competitive. Giving voters more choices will also stimulate more citizen participation.