Letter: "It's time for ranked choice voting"

Ellsworth American

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Dear Editor:

Politically, Maine is no longer a two-party state. Yet, when Maine voters go to the polls they are treated as if Maine’s electorate serves only two parties when the 21st century has brought us multi-party elections, to include independent candidates.

How should Maine move to 21st century voting? The way forward: Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). How does RCV work? Instead of selecting a favorite among a field of candidates, individual Maine voters rank their choices from the most favored (first choice) to the least desired (last choice). What are the advantages of RCV? They include:

  • All candidates, regardless of party — or non-party affiliation — are put on the same footing; no need for voters to cast “strategic” ballots, instead of their preferred choices.
  • The top two vote-getters square off against each other, should neither achieve a popular majority, for the support of the electorate, without the expense and time-consuming hassle of a separate runoff election.
  • Every candidate would be evaluated by the voters strictly based upon his/her own worth.
  • Best of all, Maine governance moves forward with majority-voted winners, instead of plurality-voted office holders.

Is the Maine voter ready for the 21st century election politics? Does the Maine voter really want to continue with the current system?

John Manter

Steuben

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