Monday, April 15, 2024

With just under a week to Election Day, it’s time to make an endorsement. As in the past, the endorsement is not for a specific candidate or set of candidates, but a reminder to voters to use the resources available at the Cambridge Civic Journal.

Host and politics wonk Robert Winters has again done the shoe-leather work (or the digital equivalent) of gathering and posting campaign information from candidates for City Council and the School Committee. Although some have declined to provide text of their background and policies, most offer a wealth of information that includes photos and ways for constituents — or future constituents — to contact them.

The site also has data about past election results and even a PDF of a Board of Election Commissioners brochure on the workings of Cambridge’s nearly unique voting system. Called proportional representation, it allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.

(As Cambridge Day reported in 2005, “Studies show that proportional representation produces fairer results, alleviating the tendency of winner-take-all voting to overrepresent the majority and underrepresent the minority. Proponents also argue that proportional representation minimizes wasted votes. The ballot transfer process ensures that most people’s votes actually elect someone to office.” See more here; and an essay about the value of the system here.)

For the responsible voter who hasn’t also had the time to speak face-to-face with each candidate, Winters’ site remains an indispensible site for one-stop, rapid political education.