“Fans of Ranked Voting See an Opportunity in Massachusetts”


Nearly two weeks after voters went to the polls, Lori Trahan emerged Monday as the official winner of a crowded, 10-person Democratic primary for the congressional seat based in Lowell, Mass., held for a decade by Representative Niki Tsongas, who is retiring.

The sprawling district, north of Boston, is reliably Democratic and is expected to stay in the party’s hands in November. What makes the race interesting is its potential for changing the way Massachusetts votes in future elections.

After a recount of votes was finished Monday, Ms. Trahan, a former congressional aide and now a business consultant, was declared the winner — with less than 21 percent of the vote, according to the secretary of state. That slim margin could strengthen calls for Massachusetts or some of its municipalities to convert to a system known as ranked choice voting, which ensures that the eventual winner earns a majority of votes.

Advocates say this system is more democratic than relying on a mere plurality, which often does not reflect the will of most voters.


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