Ranked choice voting is a fair and easy-to-use voting system that has been employed in a number of elections since the late 1800s. It is currently being used to make voting more democratic in a number of municipal, state and federal elections throughout the country and the world.
How will ranked choice voting improve elections here in Maine? This system will allow us to vote our first choice without worrying that we might throw our votes away, or worse, split votes for preferred candidates and unintentionally elect a candidate most voters did not want.
Beyond that, our first choice vote can express our wishes or frustrations while having a second choice which will now be counted, in the event that our favorite candidate is eliminated. At the very least we can send a message without the risk of throwing our vote away.
Simply put, in a ranked choice voting system, when there are three or more candidates, we get to use our ballots to rank them in order of preference. If my favorite candidate receives the fewest votes, he or she is eliminated and my ballot now counts for my second preference. Voting results are counted again yielding a winner with a majority of the vote.
Mariah Williams, Liberty