Letter: "Support ranked-choice voting"

Bangor Daily News

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Ranked-choice voting is a system that gives voters the option to rank candidates running for office in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority of the first choice votes, the last place candidate is eliminated and the supporters of that candidate have their support re-assigned to the remaining candidates, based on their second choice preference. This process continues until one candidate emerges with a majority of support.

First, ranked-choice voting will encourage sincere voting. This means voters can support their favorite candidates without the fear of unintended consequences, such as splitting the vote.

Second, ranked-choice voting is constitutional. As a registered parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians, my argument for constitutionality is simple. Ranked-choice voting ensures a majority vote and by definition, a majority vote is always a plurality vote. Therefore, ranked-choice voting satisfies the test in the Maine Constitution, which requires that elections are decided by at least a plurality vote.

The current winner-take-all system is not healthy for representative government. Over the last 40 years, we have seen this system elect a governor with a majority of the vote only twice. These circumstances have weakened leadership and decreased voter faith in their elected representatives.

With these points in mind, I urge BDN readers to vote for ranked-choice voting this November.

Carl Pease


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