Letter: "The case for ranked choice voting"

Forecaster

Click here to read the full letter

As I collected signatures in sub-freezing weather at our town dump it became obvious that folks needed to become convinced that ranked choice voting is superior to the time-honored current system.

RCV is a voting method that allows one to rank the candidates if there are more than two. The winner is chosen by eliminating the least successful candidates, while using their second-place rankings to determine who gets greater than 50 percent of the votes. Computer technology allows this to be done without going to the trouble of conducting separate run-off elections.

RCV is needed because the winner is elected by a majority of the voters, which would likely help the winner to function as a leader; the process of ranking eliminates the “spoiler” effect when two minority candidates dilute each other’s chances of winning; since the ranked votes for an opponent may end up helping the winner there is likely to be a more civil, less negative campaign (depending on the specific election this could benefit either of the two major parties and is thus not a partisan ploy); and it involves only a single election event, so it is less costly while avoiding the poor voter turnout of a run-off election.

Successful numbers of signatures have been collected to allow a referendum vote on RCV in the 2016 election. So Maine voters can choose a superior system that can deal with the problems that arise when there are more than two candidates.

David L. Adams
Yarmouth

Donate Volunteer