Letter: "Ranked-choice voting empowers voters"

Republican Journal

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Maine voters want more democratic, more representative elections that produce moderate candidates who can advocate for the best ideas from both parties. Ranked choice voting would empower voters with more meaningful choices and have a moderating influence on the candidates who could no longer afford to run "slash and burn" style campaigns to win election.

To voters concerned about partisanship: Ranked choice voting does not benefit one party over another. It would act as a check and balance and force both parties to strengthen their appeal and field candidates capable of harnessing a broad base of support to win elections.

To voters concerned about "confusion at the polls": According to exit polls, 94 percent of voters in Portland's last mayoral race said that the ranked choice ballot was easy to understand.

To voters concerned about cost: Ranked choice voting is the most cost-effective solution to ensure majority winners, eliminate "spoilers" and reduce negative advertising, saving taxpayers millions of dollars over holding actual runoff elections.

To voters concerned about "the timing" of this referendum: Ranked choice voting is a nonpartisan reform that has been percolating in Maine for over a decade. In fact, bipartisan legislation to enact ranked choice voting was first introduced in the Maine Legislature in 2001.

This is common sense, non-partisan reform. I urge my fellow Mainers to consider supporting the referendum for ranked choice voting when it appears on the ballot in November 2016.

Jane Sanford


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