Letter: "Ranked choice voting can fix a gaping hole"

Kennebec Journal

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They say democracy is the worst form of government; well, besides all the other kinds. There is plenty about our American system that is frustrating, but a lot of it is intentional to assure protection of minority rights or balance of power.

One flaw that has no justifiable reasoning is the lack of ranked-choice voting. This approach is used in democracies around the world, and I urge Mainers to vote for this simple measure that can fix a gaping hole in Maine’s democratic process.

I was surprised to hear the main objection to ranked-choice voting is that it’s too complicated. In my time at Maranacook High School, we used ranked-choice for all schoolwide elections, and nobody was disenfranchised by complexity. If I can explain a process in five minutes to 400 high school students, the state of Maine is ready for it. The research agrees with this point, with more than 80 percent of people using this method reporting it easy to understand. Instead of voting once, voters rank your choices. It really is that simple.

The benefits are substantial and widespread. Voters have a stronger voice. Minority parties gain influence. Negative campaigning is discouraged. Most of all, politicians who enter office will have a stronger mandate to follow their platform, with wider support from the Maine people. Maine cannot afford to continue with a broken electoral system that feeds the partisan gridlock that plagues our state today.

Taylor Watson

Hanover, N.H.

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