Letter: "Ranked choice voting in Maine"

Advertiser-Democrat

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To the Editor: 
Our voting system in Maine needs to be updated and Ranked Choice Voting is the way to do it. Our current system was not designed to accommodate more than two candidates, which means that the potential for having candidates win with far less than 50 percent support of the people of Maine can easily happen.

Ranked Choice Voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If your 1st choice doesn’t gain enough votes, that candidate will be eliminated, and your vote will go to your 2nd choice. This minimizes the spoiler effect and allows everyone to freely vote for whomever they believe is the best candidate, instead of having to strategize voting. A candidate that doesn’t receive enough votes doesn’t then end up splitting a vote.

Maine is a state that honors the vote of Republicans and Democrats, as well as Independents. We are a stronger state when we allow for all voices to be heard from both candidates and voters. This promotes civility, deeper listening, fair debates and less negative attacks. It also allows for discussion about the issues, our needs in Maine and who will best govern us, instead of how to not throw away our votes.

Instant run-off elections don’t cost taxpayers more and don’t delay elections by having to bring voters back to the polls to vote again. Run-offs happen automatically and ensure that your vote is counted, regardless of how many candidates run.

This is a bipartisan effort to modernize Maine’s voting system and all parties, Republicans and Democrats alike, support this referendum. If you haven’t signed the petition to put Ranked Choice Voting on the ballot in November 2016, please do so at the booths on June 9th or get in touch with someone, like me, that is circulating petitions in our area. I will also be at the Otisfield Annual Town Meeting on June 27th with petitions and can take signatures from all municipalities.

Zizi Vlaun
Otisfield
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