Letter: Maine can lead on voting

Bangor Daily News

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I urge Maine voters to support Question 5 in the November election, a citizen’s initiative to establish ranked-choice voting for Maine’s U.S. senators and representatives, governor and members of the state Legislature. The initiative will allow us to rank all candidates for these offices in order of our personal preference and will ensure that the winner can only be elected with support from a majority of voters. Please learn more about how ranked choice works at fairvotemaine.org.

Ranked-choice voting encourages candidates to reach beyond committed supporters to appeal to a broad cross-section of voters since, if no one receives a majority, they will want to be the second choice of those who ranked someone else first. Ranked-choice voting will also enable voters to give first preference to a third-party or independent candidate while ranking their favored party candidate as second choice if their first choice is eliminated.

No system of voting is perfect. It may take voters seconds longer in the voting booth to rank multiple candidates. But Portland’s experience with mayoral elections and the experience of other cities that have adopted ranked-choice voting show that it works and that it brings the benefits its backers claim.

Maine would be the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting on a statewide basis. We have a reputation for taking the lead on new initiatives that make democracy work better, and a yes vote on Question 5 will allow us to lead once again.

Tom Bjorkman

Blue Hill

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