Cambridge Decides in Favor of PR System

Proportional representation voting, one of the cornerstones of the Plan E system, was retained by the City of Cambridge.

The referendum passed by a 2,033 vote margin, with 25,068 favoring PR and 23,330 against. There were 8,224 blanks.

Cambridge was the first community in Massachusetts to adopt Plan E and PR. The system was instituted in 1940.

By giving PR a vote of confidence, Cambridge defeated the efforts of the Cambridge Committee for American Voting, which had been waging a campaign to return to plurality voting.

In Medford, Newton, Quincy, and Arlington, however, voters decided not to keep PR.

The PR referendum was the result of a 1952 Legislature resolution, allowing communities to abandon the system if they so voted. The PR voting, however, had no bearing on the continuation of the city manager plan.

The PR plan changes the system of voting for city council and school committee members. But it is considered a prerequisite for the city manager form of government.