Hadley, Mass., To Weigh In On A Ranked-Choice Voting System

May 2, 2018

Hadley, Massachusetts, residents will soon decide whether to adopt a new voting system. 

A ranked-choice system allows voters the ability to rank candidates on a list, rather than picking just one.

Hadley resident Linda Castronovo says the town's current "winner-take-all" system makes voters feel like their opinions do not matter.

"I think a change to ranked-choice voting is a way to show people that your vote matters, and that the ballot can actually represent your true political priorities," Castronovo said.

Ray La Raja, a political science professor at UMass Amherst, said the main issue for those who oppose ranked-choice is that voting requires more knowledge. That's because there are more names to remember, and more candidates to choose.

"So people don't go down the whole ballot and pick their next favorite, their next favorite, next favorite. So they're really not voting for the candidate who wins in the end, if they don't fill out the whole form," La Raja said. "So it requires more knowledge on the behalf of the voters."

Hadley will decide on the voting system at Town Meeting on Thursday, May 3.