The PenBay Pilot
The Mayor and all Belfast City Council members express our unanimous support for Ranked Choice Voting referendum question 5, a common-sense reform that will empower voters and restore majority rule. It would eliminate the need for strategic voting and prevent concerns regarding the “spoiler” effect. Places that have already implemented Ranked Choice Voting have reported less-negativity in their elections.
Our current system hasn’t been working for voters. In 9 of the last 11 races for Maine’s governor, candidates were elected by less than half of voters. In 5 of those races, candidates were elected by less than 40% of voters. Races with more than two candidates are common in Maine, but the ballot we use now was only designed for two choices. As a result, winners are elected without a majority in races defined by "spoiler candidates." Winners can also be opposed by a majority of voters.
That's not the case with Ranked Choice Voting, which captures truer voter preferences and results in winners who are clearly supported by a majority of voters. The voices of the people should be heard loud and clear. The will of the people should be known. Ranked Choice Voting is a better ballot. It is time for a change.
73,000 Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Greens, and Libertarians came together, by signing petitions, to place this nonpartisan initiative on the November ballot. How often does that happen? We encourage voters to join us in supporting question 5 and vote yes for Ranked Choice Voting.
Belfast City Mayor Walter Ash and Councilors Mary Mortier, Neal Harkness, Eric Sanders, Mike Hurley, John Arrison