Spread the Word: Support H.843
June 22, 2021:
Once more, we need your support. This week, the state's Joint Committee on Election Laws will be considering a number of bills related to local elections. While many of the bills under consideration would help strengthen our state's democracy, we want to highlight one in particular: H.843, An Act Ensuring Municipal Power Over Whether Elections Are Reformed.
H.843 would take two powerful steps to empower voters. First, it would make Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) a local option for all municipal elections. Second, it would lower the voting age to 16 for all municipal elections.
Used in dozens of communities nationwide - including here in Massachusetts - RCV is proven to possess many positives for our democracy. These include ensuring majority support, promoting diverse candidates, increasing voter choice and competition, and increasing voter turnout. Even though RCV unfortunately failed to pass in last year's statewide ballot initiative, dozens of communities, including Boston, Lowell, and Lawrence, did vote in favor of the reform. H.843 would allow communities like these to embrace their preference and implement RCV in their local elections. Those that don't want to implement RCV, meanwhile, don't have to: the local option allows both sides to do as they see fit.
Lowering the voting age to 16 in municipal elections is also of crucial importance. While some may dismiss this idea, believing 16 year old's too young and immature to vote, scholarly research refutes this generalization. Furthermore, 16 year old's in Massachusetts already work, drive, and pay taxes. We entrust them with immense responsibility, and should respect that responsibility by lowering the voting age to 16. Doing so would lead to numerous benefits, such as getting young people more involved in the voting process at a younger age, making them more likely to vote moving forward. A handful of US communities already practice this policy, so it's time that Massachusetts catch up.
Help us make these reforms a reality: tell the state's Joint Committee on Election Laws to support H.843.
You can submit your statements of support to Michaela.Gaziano@masenate.gov and Sean.Getchell@mahouse.gov. You can also learn more here. Comments are due by this Friday, June 25th at 3 PM, so be sure to have them in by then. If you require assistance, or have any questions, simply reply to this email, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All of us at MassVOTE