Letter: Ranked-choice voting restores majority rule

CentralMaine.com

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I am writing to express my support for ranked-choice voting, or yes on Question 5. I encourage voters who are frustrated with the status quo to take a serious look at Question 5 and ask themselves, “Is the current system working for me?”

This simple, common-sense reform restores majority rule when you have more than two candidates on the ballot. Our current system actually allows candidates who are opposed by a majority of voters to still win. We’ve seen this in nine out of the last 11 races for governor. In five of those races, candidates were elected by less than 40 percent of voters.

Ranked-choice voting is an efficient solution to a decades-old problem by instantly conducting a runoff when nobody wins with a majority. The system is sometimes known as “instant runoff voting” because you have all the benefits of a runoff without the additional costs and delay.

As a voter, you can vote for your favorite candidate without the fearing your least favorite could win. It provides voters with more choice, and we would no longer have “spoiler candidates” in a three- or four-person race.

This would fundamentally change the way elections are run by encouraging candidates to reach out more broadly for support and talking with voters beyond their core base. L. Sandy Maisel, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of government at Colby College, points to several studies showing that “elections under ranked-choice voting are more civil and that there is more cooperation among candidates and campaigns than in a system like the one we use.”

Ranked-choice voting is a nonpartisan reform with broad support across party lines. I encourage voters to learn more about this issue by visiting yeson5.me.

Rep. Paul Gilbert

D-Jay

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