Letter: "Ranked choice ensures majority winners"

Kennebec Journal

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No one should be elected to office with less than 50 percent of the vote.

By guaranteeing that our elected leaders are chosen with a majority of the vote, ranked-choice voting offers a powerful reform of Maine’s election process. And it’s a reform that’s badly needed. None of our recent governors — whether Republican, Democrat or independent — were first elected to office with the support of 50 percent of the voters. Our tradition of independent politics, while something to be proud of for its ability to widen the playing field and offer more choices for voters, has the effect of forcing us, in multi-candidate races, to make painful decisions and to vote in ways that don’t reflect our heartfelt wishes.

Ranked-choice voting would allow Maine residents to cast a ballot for candidates in order of preference. If no candidate achieves 50 percent support in the first tally, the candidate with the least number of votes is removed, and her votes are redistributed based on voters’ second choices. Ultimately, no candidate is elected to office until they’ve achieved the support of 50 percent of the voters. No more “spoilers,” no more 33 percent “winners,” no more voter frustration over having to worry about being punished for voting for their favorite candidate.

Election outcomes will reflect the will of a majority of the voters. Independent candidates can be assessed on the merits of their ideas and the qualities they bring to important races. 

I urge interested people to sign the petition at www.rcvmaine.com/volunteer to put ranked-choice voting on the ballot and help fix our broken elections system now.

 

Richard Langley

Augusta

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