Letter: It’s time for ranked-choice voting

Central Maine

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Our nation’s politics have become too polarized. The two political parties have created a situation in which elections are decided by a small group of swing voters. This is coupled with base turnout driven in many cases by fear and negativity. As a result, it is more common for Americans to vote against a candidate rather than for one.

We are a polarized nation because our elections are a “winner-take-all” exercise in which lurches in policy from one side to another create an unstable economic climate, enflame tensions between us, and devalue level-headed governing.

How can we be brought together to establish stability? While appeals for common sense, respect, civility and pragmatism often fall on deaf ears, we will soon have an opportunity to embrace ranked-choice voting.

Ranked-choice voting allows voters to rank candidates running for an office in order of preference. As a result, this system opens the door for more participation from independent and third-party candidates.

Other than Angus King, how many elected officials can you name who don’t have a “D” or an “R” next to their name? Most of us struggle to think of one. Our system is so broken, that casting a third-party vote is effectively voting for whichever major party you dislike. That is a bitter pill to swallow, and only in rare cases can an independent or third-party candidate overcome that handicap.

The Green Party and Libertarian Party have ideas and priorities many Americans support, yet they have few chances to represent us. With ranked-choice voting, they would get a fair hearing.

Please consider supporting the initiative for ranked-choice voting. It is a tried and tested system that will elect leaders who strive to represent all of us, not just their political party and base.

Truax McFarland

Jefferson

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