Adopt ranked-choice voting
During past gubernatorial elections, I have felt that my option was either to vote for one of two major party candidates, neither of whom expressed ideas or plans I supported, or to support my chosen candidate knowing there was little hope for success.
Ranked-choice voting will eliminate the spoiler effect and provide voters with a real opportunity to freely express our choices, while providing an incentive to participate for those who do not align with one of the two parties currently in power. In a ranked-choice system, all votes matter.
The current proposal before the Legislature would adopt ranked-choice voting in Maine for federal and state elections when there are three or more candidates. If no candidate received a majority of votes, the one with the fewest votes would be eliminated and their voters’ second-choice votes reassigned until one candidate has a majority. Majority rule would not require an expensive and time-consuming run-off election.
Ranked-choice voting would give all of us the opportunity to vote for the candidate we believe is the best, without fear of a result that again leaves Maine with a governor or other representatives supported by only a minority of voters. The diversity of opinion among our electorate has been apparent in many elections for governor (Longley, Brennan, King, McKernan, Baldacci, LePage) where a minority decided.
Ranked-choice voting will encourage diversity among candidates, providing all Maine citizens with better choices. We owe it to ourselves to try another way.