I’m not entirely sure why, with just a week to go and mail and early voting already started, but Quentin Palfrey announced today that he is suspending his campaign for Attorney General and has endorsed Andrea Campbell. Many, myself included, already have voted, and some of those votes, again mine included, were likely for Palfrey. Though his name is still on the ballot many who haven’t voted probably won’t vote for him now even if they were inclined to do so before. If he’s right about not having a path and likely to come in third, that will almost certainly be a self-fulfilling prophecy now. If we had RCV then my already cast vote for Palfrey would not be wasted and would be counted toward my second choice, which Palfrey’s endorsement notwithstanding would have been for Shannon Liss-Riordan. (I remain baffled that Campbell seems to have done so well. As activist as I am I didn’t know who she was until she announced and didn’t meet her until this summer, which is extremely unusual for me.)
I even wonder whether RCV legal language could include something like, “If, subsequent to the ballot being printed but prior to the close of business on the day before election day, a candidate certifies in writing to the Secretary of the Commonwealth that he no longer wishes to be considered for the office being sought, the ranking for that candidate shall be skipped in the counting and the ballot shall be credited to the candidate of the next highest ranking in that round.” For example, if we had RCV in this race I would have ranked Palfrey first, Liss-Riordan second, and Campbell third, but with this language rather than count my vote for Palfrey in the first round since he has withdrawn my first round vote would count for Liss-Riordan. Basically, the ballot would be treated as if that candidate’s name did not appear.
Whatever else happens, this is why I continue to prefer voting on election day.
I can see the appeal too, but I certainly support more options for those who can’t and this year I will be spending all of polling hours helping a campaign in a neighboring district.
It’s an early voting hazard, that’s for sure. but No, a thousand times No to ranked choice.
What’s your objection to ranked choice? The benefits are it renders moot the spoiler possibility and elects people with whom the majority are at least OK with.
First, I reject the argument that voting for the candidate you want to win is a bad idea.
Here’s a good explainer:
No system is perfect, but I’m not convinced of all the premises in the linked article. I agree that voting for the candidate you want is not a bad idea, but argue that RCV actually facilitates that. Often people don’t vote for a minor candidate they really want out of fear that it will be a wasted vote or will spoiler in favor of their less favorite major candidate. With RCV you don’t need to worry about that and who knows? If enough people vote for the non-major party candidate because they feel they can maybe that candidate would end up winning. Plus even those who choose a major candidate first may pick a minor candidate second rather than the other major candidate, also improving that candidate’s chances. I stand by my position that RCV better reflects the consensus of the electorate in multi-candidate races than FPTP.