Letter: "Ranked Choice Voting"

Rockland Free Press

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I am one of the people that collected the signatures to put Ranked Choice Voting on the November 2016 ballot in Maine. It is a good idea that has been gaining significant momentum over the past year across the political spectrum. 

Most recently, the League of Women Voters of Maine reaffirmed their support for ranked choice voting in a blog published on July 15. You can read their report at www.lwvme.org/RCV.html.

Democrats, Republicans and Independents have all expressed support because it's a reform that returns power to the voters.

In the next three-way race for governor, visualize going to the election booth and indicating your first, second and third choice on your ballot. That's how simple it is. While some folks have expressed concern that ranked choice voting might be "too complicated," I'm telling them that they don't have to do the math! They just have to mark your ballot with your first, second and third choices when you vote, which is why I am confident that Mainers across the state will embrace this change and the benefits that come with it.

Ranked choice voting resolves a fundamental problem in our system when three or more candidates run for office. It eliminates the "throw-away" vote or the "spoiler effect," when two, like-minded candidates divide a broad base of support to inadvertently help elect the least preferred candidate.

It's happened plenty of times before. In fact, nine of our last 11 governors were elected with less than a majority of support. If you, like myself, want to be represented in Augusta by people who were elected by at least 51 percent of the voters in this state, please support Ranked Choice Voting. 

For more information on ranked choice voting and how you can get involved with this movement, check out www.fairvotemaine.org.

Sally A. Merchant, South Thomaston

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