Bangor Daily News
No one should be elected with less than 50 percent of the vote. And no one understands the fallout from this outcome better than Maine voters who have endured the problem for more than 40 years. In fact, nine of our last 11 governors were elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.
We can change this once and for all by switching to a ranked-choice voting system. Ranked-choice voting ensures that our elected officials receive a majority vote. Perhaps even more importantly, it will ensure that we elect candidates who represent the interests of a broad cross section of voters, instead of narrow, ideological interests.
This system is urgently needed in Maine and the demand is there. This past fall, more than 70,000 Mainers signed the petition to put this issue before the voters in November. Yet, as this ballot initiative runs through the Legislature as is custom, some lawmakers are playing politics with the issue, despite the fact that they can’t stop it from going to the voters.
I urge Senate President Mike Thibodeau and the Maine Legislature to respect the referendum process and the will of Maine voters, by sending this to the ballot in November. As the drama in the Legislature has only reaffirmed, voters should be in charge of how they elect their leaders, not the other way around.