How many times have you picked up the pencil in the voting booth and marked your choice for the “lesser of two evils”? For me, it’s been too many. That’s why I am supporting ranked-choice voting, a common-sense reform that empowers voters to restore majority rule. I want to feel confident that my vote is not wasted.
Mainers have a history of nominees winning with well under 50 percent of vote. In fact, since 1974, nine of the last 11 governors have been elected without a majority vote. Ranked-choice voting would effectively prevent such lopsided, undemocratic results. I see ranked-choice voting as a win-win proposition.
If my first choice candidate can’t win, I know my thoughtful alternative choices will be reflected in the final count. I am encouraged by the success of ranked-choice voting in Portland. Beginning in 2011, with a field of 15 mayoral candidates, the city had a record high turnout in an off-year election, positive results that show the merits of ranked-choice voting.
Maine has a long tradition of advocacy for fair and transparent elections and voter engagement. In November, we have a chance to support a landmark initiative for ranked-choice voting. I urge readers to become informed and proactive about this important issue. Learn more from the League of Women Voters of Maine at lwvme.org.