Letter: "Ranked Choice Voting is instant runoff without the costs"

Press Herald

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In a recent letter to the editor (“Voting in two-way runoff beats ranked-choice system,” Jan. 10), the author argued unconvincingly against ranked-choice voting, citing the need for a runoff system that would give voters an additional month of deliberation to determine a majority winner.

Mainers don’t deserve to endure a system that enables an additional month of negative campaigning, replete with the kind of vitriolic rhetoric Lewiston voters experienced in their most recent runoff election.

Furthermore, in an era where most campaigns get started well in advance of the general election, the runoff format is superfluous, not to mention costly to the taxpayer, inefficient for election administrators and excluding of overseas voters – like active-duty service men and women.

We should still look to the ballot initiative spearheaded by the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting as the most appropriate course forward. In municipal elections across the country, as well as in federal elections across the world, ranked-choice voting has been a proven system that elects candidates with the broadest possible support.

And this system works exactly like runoff elections, without requesting a return to the polls! As a voter, your job is simple: rank the candidates in order of preference.

If one candidate is the first choice of a majority of voters, that candidate wins, just like now. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate with the fewest first-choice rankings is eliminated and an instant runoff takes place between the top vote getters. Your vote counts for the candidate you ranked highest among those competing in the instant runoff.

It’s that simple. That’s why a unique alliance of Republicans, Democrats and independents has formed to restore majority rule and endorse the current common-sense statewide ballot initiative for ranked-choice voting.

Ryan Jackson, Portland

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