Letter: "Ranked choice voting, or what if you wanted strawberry?"

Kennebec Journal

Click here to read the full letter

Suppose you went to the only ice cream parlor in town, wanting to order strawberry, and all it had was vanilla and chocolate.

Worse than just two choices, the ice cream parlor started mixing the vanilla and the chocolate together for “economical reasons,” until there was little difference between the two. Besides that, you wanted strawberry ice cream.

It’s no wonder people are so frustrated and disillusioned about voting in this country. Our principle mechanism of representative democracy has been rigged to allow only two viable choices at the polls.

If a person wants to vote for somebody further to the left or right of this narrow spectrum, they’re out of luck. Voters have an ice cream ball’s chance of success in our skewed system.

I have long advocated for the remedy of at least having an all-important second choice.

Now, people here in Maine will be able to vote next year for ranked-choice voting, the most cost-effective and democratic solution to empower voters with meaningful choices, ranked in order of personal preference.

People can truly vote their consciences, knowing their vote won’t be wasted if their candidate doesn’t win, because they back up that vote with a second, or even third choice.

More choice means a stronger voice and better representation for the people instead of just the corporations and wealthy donors — precisely what a decent functioning democracy is intended to do.

Bia Winter

Mount Vernon

Donate Volunteer