Letter: Support ranked-choice voting

Bangor Daily News

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Races with more than two candidates are common in Maine, and they often result in winners elected by less than half of voters. Major parties can react to elections like these in one of two ways: Fight the very existence of third parties and independent candidates, or change laws to handle increased voter choice. Ranked-choice voting represents the more democratic approach.

Maine voters have a historic opportunity this year to restore majority rule, and to curb the increasingly negative character of campaigns. The type of campaigning that this system requires — reaching out for second and third choice support — is precisely the style that prepares our leaders to effectively govern in Augusta and Washington. Campaigning toward the lowest common denominator to just 30 or 35 percent of the electorate does not bode well when the time comes to actually govern and lead. When we require a majority vote, we are instilling the principles of compromise and consensus-building that are vital for a functioning government.

Hundreds of current and former elected officials, business and labor leaders, clergy, local newspapers, and government groups have already endorsed ranked-choice voting. The League of Women Voters of Maine has cited ranked-choice voting as the most cost-effective, administratively efficient and democratic method to get a majority vote and ensure that voters have real choices when they go to the polls.

By supporting ranked-choice voting on the Nov. 8 ballot, Mainers can lead the nation by creating a more representative democracy that restores majority rule and empowers voters.

Julia Fitz-Randolph

Co-Chair

Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network

New Harbor

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