Mainers have a proud independent streak, which means we can almost always count on three or more candidates running for public office. However, with plurality voting in place, nine of the last 11 gubernatorial races have produced "minority winners." To illustrate, Independent Angus King, Democrat John Baldacci and Republican Paul LePage were all elected with less than a majority of the vote.
Ranked choice voting would fix that. Already used across the country in cities like Portland and towns like Hendersonville, N.C., ranked choice voting allows voters to rank the candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the re-tallying begins. Your vote still counts just once, but if your first choice receives the least amount of votes, they are eliminated and your vote is transferred to your second choice, ensuring that the winner is elected with a majority of the vote.
Since election day, I have volunteered my time to help with the signature collection effort for the ranked choice voting campaign because I strongly believe that our leaders must have a mandate to lead - they must be elected with a majority of the vote.
I urge Maine voters to consider this reform. Working to strengthen our democracy is not a liberal or conservative value - it's a time-honored tradition that we all share.
To find out more about ranked choice voting, visit the campaign's webpage: rcvmaine.com.
Nancy C. Hoop