Final Report 5/11/23


To implement the purposes of a vote of the November 2020 Town Meeting on Warrant Article 18, the Select Board hereby charges the Ranked-Choice Voting Study Committee (the “Committee”) to study the potential options for adoption of Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) for Town Elections. The goal of the committee should be to recommend best practices for Ranked-Choice Voting in Town and to explore the different options for RCV including benefits and challenges, in order to better inform future debates on the use of Ranked-Choice Voting in Town. The Committee shall be organized as follows:

  1. The Committee shall be composed of five residents of Brookline appointed by the Select Board. The Select Board may appoint additional resident voting members to the Committee upon the request of the Committee.
  2. The Brookline Town Clerk, or the clerk’s designee, shall also be a voting member of the Committee.
  3. A majority of the voting members shall be a quorum for the conduct of business.
  4. A member of the Select Board shall chair the Committee for a total of 7 voting Committee members.

The Committee’s tasks shall include:

  1. To study the equipment required to implement Ranked-Choice Voting in the Town, whether upgrades to existing machines or purchase of new machines, that would not sacrifice the auditability and reliability of our existing optical scan election processes;
  2. To make specific recommendations, where appropriate, on the use, or not, of Ranked-Choice Voting for each Town-wide office;
  3. To make specific recommendations, where appropriate, on the use, or not, of Ranked-Choice Voting for Town Meeting Member elections;
  4. To study the design of ballots for typical races in Town, including Select Board and School Committee;
  5. To recommend a process to be used for multi-winner elections, whether iterated one-winner election, a proportional system, or another;
  6. To make a specific recommendations on implementation via Home Rule Petition;
  7. To recommend a time frame for potential implementation;
  8. To provide budget guidance, both for the FY23 budget process as well as expected annual costs, for implementing and then using Ranked-Choice Voting in Town;
  9. To produce a Report for submission to the Select Board. In preparing its Report, the Committee shall
    1. hold at least one public hearing and take for its consideration the comments of the public;
    2. prepare a draft of the Report with a preliminary list of recommendations, incorporating any appropriate comments from the public hearing;
    3. present the preliminary recommendations to the Town Clerk, Town Counsel, and the Town Administrator for their comment as to feasibility and compliance with Town bylaws, contractual obligations, or federal or state requirements; and (iv) meet to vote on the final Report, including recommendations that incorporate any agreed comments of the Town Clerk, Town Counsel, and the Town Administrator.

Following the Committee’s vote on the final Report, the Committee shall present the Report to the Select Board and submit it for inclusion in the Combined Reports of the next Town Meeting.

Meeting Recordings