Are you tired of electoral spoilers?
Adam Friedman calls it being Nadered.
In the 2012 congressional race in the 6th District, Democrat John Tierney won with 46 percent of the vote. Republican Richard Tisei came in second with 45 percent of the vote. Libertarian Dan Fishman was way out of the running, but he may have been the deciding factor in the race as he garnered 4 percent of the vote.
In the 2010 election for governor, Democrat Deval Patrick emerged victorious with 48 percent of the vote. Republican Charlie Baker came in second with 42 percent of the vote and Independent Tim Cahill was a distant third at 8 percent. Was Cahill’s participation a deciding factor?
In the 2014 race for governor, a similar dynamic was at play. Baker won with 48 percent of the vote, narrowly edging Democrat Martha Coakley who received nearly 47 percent. Evan Falchuk, a third-party candidate, garnered 3.3 percent, which may have been the difference in the election.
Adam Friedman, of Voter Choice Massachusetts, said all of these elections are examples where a third party candidate “Nadered” the would-be challenger, a reference to Ralph Nader’s bid for the presidency in 2000 on the Green Party ticket. Nader won a measly 3 percent of the vote, but in a razor-thin race where Al Gore won the popular vote but lost in the electoral college, Nader is widely viewed as the spoiler who cost the Democrats a victory.
“Ranked choice voting is a very simple change to the way you vote. It’s nothing super radical. I see it like an amendment or an addendum on the ballot,” Friedman said.
Instead of casting a ballot for one candidate, under ranked choice the voter ranks all the candidates from first choice to last choice. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote on the first ballot, the candidate with the lowest vote total is eliminated and his supporters are dispersed to the person listed as second choice on their ballots. The process continues until a single candidate emerges with a majority of the vote.
Ranked choice voting also prevents what happened in the race for the 7th Congressional seat last year. Lori Trahan won the crowded Democratic primary with 22 percent of the vote, which means 78 percent of the voters did not select her as the winner. “That’s not democracy. That’s not right,” Friedman said.
Friedman said ranked choice voting gives voters a choice and a voice. He is trying to build support in the Legislature for the approach. One bill he is promoting would institute ranked choice voting for all federal and state elections; the other would allow municipalities to give the approach a shot with local elections.
Not everyone is on board. Paul Schlichtmann, a member of the Arlington Democratic Town Committee, thinks ranked choice voting wouldn’t work well in Massachusetts, but Friedman’s allies in Massachusetts disagree. Friedman says the biggest challenge his group faces is explaining to voters how ranked choice voting would work.
“Once people get it, they tend to love it,” he said. “Your vote is never wasted. Your vote is always in play.”
A majority of lawmakers have signed onto a bill that would make permanent the state’s film tax credit program, which has doled out at least $550 million dating back to 2006 and is due to sunset at the end of 2022. (Salem News)
A new state audit finds Massachusetts government generally does a pretty good job on diversity. (MassLive)
Rural towns say the state doesn’t compensate them enough for the land it owns in the sparsely population communities. (MassLive)
A Boston Globe editorial pans legislation filed by Sens. Nick Collins of South Boston and Ed Kennedy of Lowell that would rein in summer beer gardens.
Eileen McAnneny of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation gives the Legislature five transportation assignments for this year. (CommonWealth)
Rep. Marjorie Decker of Cambridge, along with Kim Dawkins and Risa Mednick, make the case that the House’s rule on nondisclosure agreements is protective of victims of sexual assault. (CommonWealth)
Firefighter unions across the state are complaining about poor conditions in firehouses, including poor ventilations, leaky ceilings, and rats. (Boston Herald)
The ACLU of Massachusetts is fighting in court to see if President Trump’s wall contract really exists. (CommonWealth)
The Vatican is confirming through spokesman Alessandro Gisotti that one of its departments overseeing the world’s priests has guidelines for what to do when clerics father children. The news comes ahead of a first-time meeting of the world’s bishops over the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse crisis (New York TImes)
Meredith Watson, who claims Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax raped her in college, wants a public hearing on the allegation and says she has spurned offers to use her experience for partisan or financial gains. (Washington Post)
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 77, says he plans another run for president.
Dan Geldon, who studied law under US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has been with her from the start of her career in electoral politics and is now chief of staff of her presidential campaign. (Boston Globe)
As Patrick Moscaritolo steps down as head of the Greater Boston & Convention Visitors Bureau, the Boston Globe salutes his work making the city a top-flight tourist destination.
Altaeros, a Somerville startup, has come up with an efficient way to provide reliable cell phone service in rural areas — put cell tower equipment on a tethered blimp that hovers above the service area. (Boston Globe)
People are being surprised by a reduction of tax refunds this year, mostly stemming from changes to THE tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act pushed through by the Republican-led Congress in 2017. (Patriot Ledger)
Tariffs other nations have imposed on their American whiskey imports have had no impact on Gloucester distiller Bob Ryan, who sells all his spirits locally, but Ryan sees how the tariffs have an ill effect. (Gloucester Daily Times)
Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi lauds the infusion of cash coming to UMass Boston, but says the badly needed funds do nothing to blunt the encroachment of UMass Amherst on UMass Boston’s turf.
Andre Green, executive director of FairTest, says the lesson of the Los Angeles teachers strike is less standardized testing and more teaching. (CommonWealth)
Nearly two dozen teachers received termination notices in Tiverton, in a move the union says it was not warned about. (Herald News)
Paul Hattis of Tufts University Medical School poses an interesting question: Are the Partners hospitals really partners? (CommonWealth) Dr. Anne Klibanski, the chief academic officer at Partners, will step in as the interim CEO when Dr. David Torchiana leaves in April. (Boston Globe)
HopeHealth is ending its pediatric palliative and hospice care program on Cape Cod when its contract with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health ends in June, sending its patients to Cranberry Hospice in Plymouth. (Cape Cod Times)
There are 13,000 memorials, statues, and markers to the Civil War around the country, but none like the controversial monument proposed in Taneytown, Maryland, that would commemorate both President Abraham Lincoln and his assassin, among other figures of that era. (Washington Post)
Joseph Giglio and Charles Chieppo argue that the MBTA’s commuter rail service won’t be able to compete against autonomous vehicles in the future. They say the T needs to wake up to that reality, and stop pursuing commuter rail service to places like New Bedford, Fall River, and Springfield. (Boston Globe)
The experience in Cambridge illustrates the difficulty of convincing residents to give up their cars. (Boston Globe)
South Shore MBTA riders plan to sound off at the agency’s 6 p.m. meeting on Wednesday over a proposal to raise fares and change bus routes. The meeting will take place at Thomas Crane Public Library, 40 Washington Street. (Patriot Ledger)
Rachel Adele Dec analyses the safe in “safe, reliable transportation.” (CommonWealth)
Paula Sharaga, a 69-year-old Cambridge woman, was killed on her bicycle in a crash with a cement truck in Boston on Friday. (WBUR)
A MetroWest Daily News editorial applauds the effort to name Nantucket Sound a national historic landmark off limits to wind farms and other types of development.
Taunton residents are blocking the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s effort to secure lands that will eventually become a $1 billion casino-resort. (Cape Cod Times)
Sixteen states are suing President Donald Trump over his use of emergency powers to build the border wall. (New York Times)
Advocacy groups claimed about 70 detainees at a jail in Boston are protesting conditions there with a hunger strike, but a spokesperson for the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Departmen, said there is “no official hunger strike in effect.” (WBUR)
A Lowell toddler has been reunited with his mother, and the boy’s father is in custody in Mexico after he allegedly kidnapped the 14-month-old with plans to go to Brazil. (Lowell Sun)
The editor of a small-town Alabama newspaper called for the Ku Klux Klan to ride again and clean out Washington, DC — complete with lynchings of politicians seeking to raise taxes. (Montgomery Advertiser)The Knight Foundation is putting $300 million toward rebuilding local news. (Poynter)
The Eagle-Tribune reports it was awarded for general excellence in a daily newspaper by the New England Newspaper and Press Association on Saturday.