The Times Record
In last week's Herald, Kerin Resch of Warren wrote a letter to the editor attempting to belittle the motives behind the effort by tens of thousands of Mainers, including the Maine League of Women Voters and supporters of all political persuasions, to have future Maine elections carried out using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). In doing so, Resch made two false assertions, first that such a change is not needed and second, that such a change would be contrary to Maine's State Constitution.
Regarding the need for such a reform, Maine now has, in effect, a multi-party environment with Independent candidates and ones from small third parties regularly contesting elections with candidates from the two major parties. The frequent result is a candidate winning without a majority, often with less than 40 percent of the vote. The legitimacy of these "victories" is almost immediately attacked by the winner's opponents, who point out that the majority of the voters voted against him or her. This has been the case in nine of the last 11 races for governor in Maine, with five of the winners getting less than 40 percent. Ranked Choice Voting would allow all election winners to achieve majorities.
As for Resch's contention that RCV is unconstitutional, this is not as certain as he would have people believe and most likely not true at all. Several experts on Maine's constitution, including superior court judges and the former head of the Law School at the University of Maine have stated that the proposal is constitutional, and similar findings have been made nationally in RCV cases brought before the Supreme Courts of two other states.
Two other benefits of RCV are that it focuses emphasis on the more important issues of a campaign and discourages negative campaigning.
To learn more, I encourage readers to go the website rcvmaine.com.