State Senate Race Shows Need for IRV
Tuesday’s Special Democratic Primary for the State Senate race was a clear-cut example of the need for Instant Runoff. Unofficial results put Sal DiDomenico about 135 votes above the runner-up, Tim Flaherty. The Massachusetts Election 2010 blog has the rough percentage breakdown:
- Sal DiDomenico 30%
- Tim Flaherty 29%
- Denise Simmons 20%
- Mike Albano 10%
- Dennis Benzan 8%
- Dan Hill 1%
Vote-splitting appears to have occurred along both geographic and ideological voting lines. DiDomenico won over 70% in Everett, where he’s a City Councillor. Candidates Flaherty, Simmons, and Benzan divided the vote in their home city of Cambridge, garnering 46%, 31%, and 13%, respectively, while DiDomenico’s pulled down only 6% on their turf. To make matters worse, progressive voters throughout the district were divided between the three Cambridge candidates and Albano.
This result plainly does not reflect the will of a majority of the district’s voters. There should be no doubt that Flaherty would have won the had Instant Runoff Voting been in place. Fortunately, Flaherty has asked for a recount, and if that doesn’t end in his favor, he will challenge DiDomenico in the fall. Barring more vote-splitting, I think he’ll win then.
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