Letter: "Bring on ranked choice voting"

The Times Record

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We need an electoral system that produces leaders who represent a majority of Maine people. Too often, our elections produce men and women who win with far less than 50 percent support. Part of the reason is because our current system was never built to accommodate more than two candidates. Something’s got to give, but with a strong independent tradition in this state, it certainly won’t be the number of candidates who participate. We need non-partisan electoral reform.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents have been working diligently over the last six months to collect signatures to put this citizen initiated referendum on the ballot in November 2016. I support ranked choice voting because it is the most democratic and cost-effective solution to ensure that the will of Maine’s majority can never be defeated by a candidate supported only by a minority of voters.

Portland implemented ranked choice voting for the 2011 mayoral election with great success. I have been active in the coalition to bring this option to the rest of the state and found most people I’ve spoken with consider it an important referendum. For those who have not yet had the opportunity to sign the petition, I will be collecting signatures at the Topsham municipal election, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. If you are interested in adding your name to this movement for better elections, you can find me at the poll.

Anyone interested in more information on how ranked choice voting works can check out the website atwww.rcvmaine.com.

Emelie Tolley Topsham

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