Letter: "Ranked choice voting is a win-win"

York Coast County Star

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To the Editor:

There is a growing, grassroots movement afoot for electoral reform called Rank Choice Voting, aimed at strengthening the power of the vote for Maine Citizens. RCV was initiated by the League of Women Voters of Maine in 2013 in order to revise Maine Election Laws to reduce the influence of outside moneys and political agendas in our elections. As the electoral process is key to retrieving lost Constitutional Rights, over 450 volunteers from across the state have gathered the 60,000-plus signatures required to bring this issue to a referendum vote in November 2016.

Ranked Choice Voting is an initiative to regain civil rights lost in the current political landscape. It does not favor one political party over another and would make candidate selection a truly democratic process and uphold the principle of majority rule. Elected candidates are chosen by the majority of voters and will serve with greater credibility. There would be no spoiler candidates, no more wasted votes. Political polarization would be minimized and campaigns more civil because candidates would have to appeal to the majority of voters, not just to their supporters.

Other benefits include reduced cost of campaigns, opening up the political process, promoting more diverse representation and giving voters more choices. Campaign organization is rewarded, negative rhetoric discouraged and the influence of money and the pressure to raise it is reduced. Lastly, Ranked Choice Voting is less expensive for the tax-payer by making elections a one step process; all is decided on election day. No run offs, requiring a return to the polls, will occur.

Ranked Choice Voting represents a revitalization of our democratic process, which is a win-win proposition for both the voters and the candidates for elected office.

Stan Payson

Kittery

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