Letter: "Maine is ready for bipartisan electoral reform"

Kennebec Journal

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Now is the time for electoral reform. With a unique opportunity to build consensus on such a common-sense fix, we should consider ranked choice voting as a non-partisan reform that can be embraced by Republicans, Democrats, independents and Greens alike.

The problems associated with plurality voting precede Paul LePage’s tenure in office. In fact, plurality voting has been an inefficient mechanism for electing our leaders for more than 40 years. During that time, nine of the 11 governors were elected with minority support. Remember John Baldacci winning with 36 percent of the vote? Remember Angus King winning with 35 percent of the vote? And John McKernan with 39 percent of the vote?

Ranked choice voting is a system that ensures majority votes, eliminates vote splitting and returns civility to our political campaigning. Imagine the positive impact that this would have in all areas of our politics, without the additional time and cost of a run-off election. 

I urge Maine voters to consider the November 2016 citizens’ initiative to replace plurality voting with ranked choice voting. Maine is ready for bipartisan electoral reform.

Joan Sturmthal

Hallowell

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