How the MVC works


On Tuesday, voters must make the biennial selection of the nine elected members of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC).

Nine candidates appear on the official ballot, which instructs voters to vote for not more than nine candidates. Eight of the nine are incumbents running for re-election. Andrew Woodruff of West Tisbury will not seek reelection.

The newcomer to MVC elections is Erik Hammarlund of West Tisbury.

How it works

Established in 1974, the MVC is a regional land use planning and regulatory agency with broad powers to oversee and permit developments of regional impact (DRI) and develop regional regulations for areas approved as districts of critical planning concern (DCPC).

The MVC includes 21 members, either elected by Island voters or appointed by elected officials, on- or off-Island.

Nine commissioners are elected by Vineyard voters in elections held every two years. Six are appointed on an annual basis by the selectmen of each town. The Dukes County Commission appoints one MVC member on an annual basis. The governor, or a member of the governor’s cabinet, appoints five commissioners, but only one of those may vote.

The nine elected MVC members are chosen in an at-large, Island-wide vote. Residents of one town may vote for candidates from other towns, but at least one commissioner, and no more than two, must be elected from each town.

For example, if the candidates with the three highest vote totals are from the same town, only two will be elected to the MVC. If a candidate with the lowest vote total overall were the only candidate from that town, he or she would be elected.