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Election 2020

2020 Massachusetts Ballot Questions

There are 2 ballot questions on the 2020 ballot. The issues are: 

  1. "Right to Repair Law" Vehicle Data Access Requirement
  2. A Ranked Choice voting initiative 

Question 1

"Right to Repair Law" Vehicle Data Access Initiative is an initiative petition to enhance, update and protect an existing law, the 2013 Motor Vehicle Right to Repair Law. 

This measure would require manufacturers that sell motor vehicles equipped with telematics systems to install an open data platform beginning with model year 2022. This would allow vehicle owners to access that data using to mobile app and allow owners to give consent to for independent repair facilities to access that data and to use the system for repair, maintenance and diagnostic testing. 

The existing 2013 law exempts telematics systems from wireless accessibility by vehicle owners and independent repair facilities.

What does your vote mean?

A "yes" vote supports requiring manufacturers that sell vehicles with telematics systems in Massachusetts to equip them with a standardized open data platform beginning with model year 2022 that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access to retrieve mechanical data and run diagnostics through a mobile-based application.

A "no" vote opposes requiring vehicles beginning with model year 2022 to be equipped with a standardized open data platform that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access to retrieve mechanical data and run diagnostics through a mobile-based application, thereby maintaining that vehicle owners and independent repair facilities may access mechanical and diagnostic data through a personal computer.

Click here to read more about Question 1 including the full text of the proposed law. 

Who Supports Question 1? Who Opposes Question 1?
Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition Coalition for Safe and Secure Data
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts (AASP-MA) Alliance for Automotive Innovation
New England Tire and Service Association (NETSA)  

Read More from the Boston Globe

With Question 1, voters must navigate a high-stakes, complex industry battle

What's the tech behind Question 1?

'Right to Repair' ad campaigns go right over the top

US agency sounds alarm on car-repair vote in Nov.: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is warning of cyber threats

 

 

What do supporters have to say?

  • Tom Hickey, director of Massachusetts Right to Repair Coalition: "This is really a fight for Massachusetts consumers. Without this information, people may lose the choice to bring their car to an independent repair shop." 
  • Alan Saks of Dorchester Tire Service: "We need to update the Right to Repair law before wireless technologies remove the car owner’s right to get their vehicle repaired at our local, independent shop because the automaker would rather steer them towards one of their more expensive dealers. This is common-sense reform."

What do opponents have to say?

 

  • Conor Yunits, spokesman for the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data: "This ballot question will create easy opportunities for strangers, hackers and criminals to access consumer vehicles and personal driving data–including real-time location. It will put people at risk, without doing anything to improve the consumer experience."
  • David Schwietert, chief policy officer for Alliance For Automotive Innovation: "[T]his initiative is really about third parties seeking bi-directional remote access to a consumer’s driving habits, patterns, and location in real-time. Such a far-reaching mandate risks making personal data readily available to third parties and creates absolutely no safeguards for how consumer information is stored, protected, or used afterwards. Simply put, while manufacturers remain committed to allowing consumers to decide where to take their vehicle for repair and maintenance needs, there is no scenario in which real-time, remote access by third parties would be necessary to diagnose or repair a vehicle."

 

Question 2

The Ranked-Choice Voting initiative is a initiative petition to enact a ranked-choice voting system in MA starting in 2022. 

Currently, MA uses a plurality voting system. A plurality system means that whichever candidate receives the most votes wins the election regardless of whether or not they win a majority of the votes. It is a "winner takes all" system and the most common voting system in the United States. Question 2 would enact ranked-choice voting (RCV) for primary and general elections for state executive officials, state legislators, federal congressional representatives, and certain county offices. RCV is a voting method in which voters rank candidates according to their preferences. The candidate that receives a majority of first-preference votes is declared the winner.

What does your vote mean?

A "yes" vote supports enacting ranked-choice voting (RCV) for primary and general elections for state executive officials, state legislators, federal congressional and senate seats, and certain county offices beginning in 2022

 A "no" vote opposes changing the existing plurality voting system to ranked-choice voting for primary and general elections for state executive officials, state legislators, federal congressional and senate seats, and county offices.

Read more about Question 2 on Ballotpedia

Who Supports Question 2? Who Opposes Question 2?
Voter Choice Massachusetts Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance
Democratic  Party of Massachusetts Protect my Ballot
Libertarian Party of Massachusetts   

Read More from the Boston Globe

As Mass. weighs ranked-choice voting, Maine's 'experiment' offers evidence of promises kept, still unfulfilled

Ranked-choice voting debated as referendum nears

A vote for equity at the polls

Lawmakers should seek SJC opinion on ranked-choice voting's legality, review urges

 

 

What do supports say?

  • Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, executive director of MassVote: "Ranked choice voting puts more power into the hands of voters, where it belongs. By allowing us to rank candidates, it gives us more say at the ballot box. You will never feel your voice isn’t heard or your vote doesn’t count. We deserve a government that works for “We the people,” not for special interests or the establishment and its hand-picked candidates."
  • Shauna Hamilton, deputy campaign manager of Voter Choice for Massachusetts: "Ranked Choice Voting is simple, fair and easy. On your ballot, you can vote for just one candidate like you always have, or you can rank your first choice, your second choice and your third choice, just like you rank things in order in your everyday life. If your favorite candidate can’t win, your vote is instantly counted for your second choice so your vote matters more."

What do opponents say?

  • Paul Schlichtman, member of the Arlington Democratic Town Committee: "If we truly want to provide voters with choices, we need structural reforms to diminish the prospect of ballots full of uncontested races. ... A 'no' vote on this year’s ranked choice question will require advocates to build a coalition with proponents of other reforms designed to generate competitive elections. If the question is approved, we will not see meaningful reforms, but instead will get ranked choice in a state where 78 percent of the races are uncontested." 
  • Paul Craney, spokesman for Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance: "Runoff elections would work fine, where there would be a second election day and the highest two vote-getters would advance to that. That allows the voters the ability — which ranked-choice, or instant-runoff voting, doesn't allow you — to have an understanding of who the final two [candidates] are to make the determinations." [Source]