Bangor Daily News
I am writing in support of ranked-choice voting, which will appear on the ballot this November. Ranked-choice voting is a simple, common-sense reform to our voting system that puts power back in the hands of voters. It restores majority rule and gives all voters a stronger voice.
It works like this: On the ballot, voters rank candidates in order of preference. Initially, first-choice support for each of the candidates is counted. However, if no candidate has more than 50 percent of the vote, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. Then, supporters of the eliminated candidate have their votes for their second-choice candidate counted. This process of elimination reappears until one candidate emerges with a majority of the vote.
In races where there are more than two candidates, voters sometimes are afraid of wasting their votes on candidates that they don’t believe will win. Ranked-choice voting ensures that your vote is never wasted. In nine of the last 11 races for Maine’s governor, candidates were elected by less than half of voters. In five of those races, candidates were elected by less than 40 percent of voters.
Mainers have often taken the lead on important measures to improve and strengthen our democracy. Republicans, Democrats, independents, Greens and Libertarians across Maine are coming together in support of this nonpartisan initiative to talk to friends and family about what ranked-choice voting is and why it matters. I encourage readers to learn more about this movement at the League of Women Voters website at www.lwvme.org.