Letter: Ranked Choice

Mount Desert Islander

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In Maine, we often have elections with several candidates for a given office, and the “winner” is often someone who gets a mere plurality of the vote instead of a majority. This allows for the spoiler effect where the “winner” only “wins” because the majority vote is split between the other candidates on the ballot.

This November, we will have the chance to implement ranked-choice voting, which will make sure that the results of our elections always reflect the true will of the voters. It’s a simple process where you rank the candidates in order of preference. If someone gets a majority on the first count, it’s over. If not, the last-place finisher is dropped and the second choices on those ballots are distributed to the remaining candidates, and so on, until there is a true winner with a real majority.

This is a nonpartisan reform supported by people across the political spectrum. Ranked-choice voting has been used in Portland since 2011 and in many other places across the country and the world for decades. And it is definitely constitutional according to state and national constitutional experts.

It has been supported by several court rulings across the nation. Ranked-choice voting is an easy, common sense, nonpartisan election reform that increases fairness and democracy by further empowering voters and making sure that those who serve in office do so with an actual majority of the vote.

We should say “yes” to statewide ranked-choice voting in November.

Ron Bilancia

Brewer

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