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Massachusetts Fusion Voting Initiative, Question 2 (2006)

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The Fusion Voting Initiative, also known as Massachusetts Question 2, Nomination of Candidates for Public Office, was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Massachusetts as an indirect initiated state statute. It was defeated.

The initiative would have allowed candidates running for public office to be nominated by more than one political party or political designation, to have their names appear on the ballot once for each nomination, and to have their votes counted separately but then added together to determine the winner of the election.

Election results

Question 2 (Fusion Voting)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,302,19958.0%
Yes 688,259 30.7%

Official results via: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division

Text of measure

Summary

The proposed law would repeal an existing requirement that in order to appear on the state primary ballot as a candidate for a political party’s nomination for certain offices, a person cannot have been enrolled in any other party during the preceding year. The requirement applies to candidates for nomination for statewide office, representative in Congress, governor’s councilor, member of the state Legislature, district attorney, clerk of court, register of probate, register of deeds, county commissioner, sheriff, and county treasurer. The proposed law would also allow any person to appear on the primary ballot as a candidate for a party’s nomination for those offices if the party’s state committee gave its written consent. The proposed law would also repeal the existing requirement that in order to be nominated to appear as an unenrolled candidate on the state election ballot, or on any city or town ballot following a primary, a person cannot have been enrolled in any political party during the 90 days before the deadline for filing nomination papers.

The proposed law would provide that if a candidate were nominated by more than one party or political designation, instead of the candidate’s name being printed on the ballot once, with the candidate allowed to choose the order in which the party or political designation names appear after the candidate’s name, the candidate’s name would appear multiple times, once for each nomination received. The candidate would decide the order in which the party or political designation nominations would appear, except that all parties would be listed before all political designations. The ballot would allow voters who vote for a candidate nominated by multiple parties or political designations to vote for that candidate under the party or political designation line of their choice.

If a voter voted for the same candidate for the same office on multiple party or political designation lines, the ballot would remain valid but would be counted as a single vote for the candidate on a line without a party or political designation. If voting technology allowed, voting machines would be required to prevent a voter from voting more than the number of times permitted for any one office.

The proposed law would provide that if a candidate received votes under more than one party or political designation, the votes would be combined for purposes of determining whether the candidate had won the election. The total number of votes each candidate received under each party or political designation would be recorded. Election officials would announce and record both the aggregate totals and the total by party or political designation.

The proposed law would allow a political party to obtain official recognition if its candidate had obtained at least 3% of the vote for any statewide office at either of the two most recent state elections, instead of at only the most recent state election as under current law.

The proposed law would allow a person nominated as a candidate for any state, city ortown office to withdraw his name from nomination within six days after any party’s primary election for that office, whether or not the person sought nomination or was nominated in that primary. Any candidate who withdrew from an election could not be listed on the ballot for that election, regardless of whether the candidate received multiple nominations.

The proposed law states that if any of its parts were declared invalid, the other parts would stay in effect.[1][2]

Support

Supporters

Question 2 was supported by the Mass Ballot Freedom Campaign. The campaign argued that the initiative would allow voters the freedom to support third party candidates "while still voting for a candidate with a real chance of winning." It also argued that it would allow voters to emphasize the issues they considered most important.[3] For example, if a candidate ran as both a Democrat and a member of the Green Party and he received a significant amount of votes as a Green Party candidate, he would have to prioritize Green-related issues.

Donors

$543,051 was donated to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Question 2.

Donors of $100,000 and over were:

Donor Amount
United Food and Commercial Workers $115,000
Solidago Foundation $110,000
Citizen's Services $103,688

Opposition

The initiative was opposed by the Honorable Anthony W. Petrucelli, chairman of the House Committee on Election Laws. Petrucelli argued that if the initiative passed, "mass voter confusion" and additional complications to vote counting would be the result. He argued that the new law would only benefit "fringe political parties and designations." He also referred to the confusion surrounding Florida's 2000 Presidential Elections, and cited confusing ballot layouts as one of the contributing factors.[4]

No campaign donations or expenditures were reported.[5]

See also

External links

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References

  1. Elections: Initiative Petition F Initiative summary
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. Elections: 2006 State Ballot Questions Secretary of the Commonwealth site
  4. Elections: 2006 State Ballot Questions Secretary of the Commonwealth site
  5. Follow the Money's report on the 2006 Massachusetts ballot measures