Letter: "Stop Playing Politics"

Republican Journal

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Stop playing politics

This past November, backers of the ranked choice voting initiative submitted over 70,000 signatures from a broad cross-section of voters to put their question on the statewide ballot this coming November. Now, the Legislature is playing politics with this hard-earned achievement because some are intimidated by a system that puts more power in voters' hands to hold our elected officials more accountable.

The path forward for this ballot initiative should not be problematic because ranked choice voting is clearly constitutional. It satisfies the most basic test of our state constitution, which asks: Does the system in question elect the candidate with at least a plurality of votes?

The answer for a ranked choice voting system is yes. Ranked choice voting elects candidates with a majority of voters and a majority is always a plurality. Therefore, ranked choice voting satisfies this hurdle of the constitution.

I urge Sen. Thibodeau and the Maine Senate to stop playing politics and respect the will of Maine voters, who polls show overwhelmingly support this system.

The fact of the matter is that our current system is prone to yielding candidates who are opposed by a majority of voters. This has been the case in nine of the last 11 gubernatorial elections.

The success of the current ballot initiative demonstrates that Mainers want to see politicians broaden their appeal and reach beyond their bases with more positive, issues-based campaigns. They are looking for a system that rewards leaders who will unite people instead of dividing people. Ranked choice voting is a good and healthy change for Maine.

Ann Marshall, Waldo

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