Rockland Free Press
As voters, we shouldn’t have to select the candidate who is more likely to be electable, in three-way elections that are run with cynicism. In fact, we should embrace the opportunity for a larger marketplace of candidates and ideas. We should mobilize to fix a broken election system that has lost its ability to serve the public interest.
Our current, “winner-take-all” system isn’t truly representational, and it’s certainly not designed to ensure a majority-winning elected official when three or more candidates run. We have evidence for that: over the last 40 years, nine of our last 11 governors were elected with less than 50 percent support.
Ranked choice voting fixes these problems. It eliminates vote splitting, ensures majority rule and encourages an inclusive style of campaigning, one where candidates are encouraged to pay attention to the concerns of a broader base of voters. It gives voters the chance to let the parties know they are not to be taken for granted.
A system like ranked-choice voting is more apt to produce leaders that are prepared to listen, think critically and work collaboratively with members of all parties and affiliations. Making this change is a worthwhile investment in our state’s future prosperity.
Over the last few years, our state has gained notoriety on the national stage for the turmoil and chaos in Augusta (despite the best efforts of many lawmakers). Yet it wasn’t always this way and it certainly doesn’t have to stay this way. We have a long heritage of sending leaders to Augusta and Washington that rose to national prominence for their leadership, integrity and dedication to consensus-based lawmaking. As voters, we don’t just have the responsibility, we also have the power to change the way we elect our leaders so that we are well-represented in government. That’s why I joined the movement for ranked-choice voting.
For voters that have additional questions about how ranked-choice voting works, why we need it and how you can get involved, please visit www.fairvotemaine.org.
Nancy Glassman, Searsmont