City of Cambridge upgrades vote counting software with ChoicePlus Pro


Oakland, Calif— October 15, 2001— Voting Solutions, a leading developer and marketer of data processing software for ranked-ballot election systems in the U.S., announced that the Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts has selected Voting Solutions' ChoicePlus Pro 2.1 software to process its upcoming City Council and School Committee elections. 


Powerful and flexible, ChoicePlus Pro (formerly PR Master) is the leading software used for tabulating ranked-ballot elections in the U.S. including Choice Voting (Single Transferable Vote or STV), and Instant Run-Off Voting (IRV or Alternative Voting). ChoicePlus Pro is the only computer program that has ever been used to count ranked-ballot style government elections in the United States, including Cambridge, MA, City Council and School Committee, and the New York City Community School Boards elections.


"ChoicePlus Pro is fast and accurate and gives us the ability to publish unofficial results on Election Night and official results the next day," explains Teresa Neighbor, executive director of the City of Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners. "It used to take an entire week counting by hand. But now we can expect to get results into the paper the next morning."


The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts uses the choice voting (STV) form of Proportional Representation to elect its nine-member City Council and six-member School Committee. Voters rank the candidates by preference: first choice, second choice and so on. If a voter's first choice is defeated then the ballot counts for the voter's second choice, and so on. This voting method ensures that all majority and minority viewpoints are both fairly represented on the City Council and School Committee.


Voters mark their preferences by their first choice candidate, second choice, third choice, and so on. Voters then feed their ballots into optical scanners developed by Global Election Systems and the election data is transferred to a PC. Voting Solutions' Choice Plus Pro program then processes the election data within minutes, and produces detailed reports that permit a complete audit of the election.


to examine the Cambridge election data from 1999 as processed by Voting Solutions software to see how votes are transferred round by round until all seats are filled by STV.


Ranked-ballot voting as employed in Cambridge is used widely around the world and is swiftly gaining popularity in the U.S, as many jurisdictions have approved the use of IRV as an alternative to expensive runoff and special elections as it produces a clear majority winner on Election Day.


"Ranked-ballot voting systems truly make every vote count," notes Rob Richie, executive director of the Center for Voting and Democracy, a non-partisan organization that promotes fair elections. "They can also save jurisdictions the cost of runoff elections. San Francisco stands to save up to $2 million per year by implementing instant runoff voting in next year's ballot measure. Cambridge demonstrates that with modern voting equipment and software like Choice Plus Pro, you can have ranked-ballot election results on Election Night."


Voting Solutions, LLC is a closely held partnership based in Oakland, California. For more information, contact Voting Solutions by phone at 925-676-1974, or by e-mail at Please visit Voting Solutions' website at


Editor Contact:


Bill Gram-Reefer

Voting Solutions



Teresa Neighbor

Board Of Elections, Cambridge MA



Rob Richie

Center for Voting and Democracy