Bangor Daily News
I am writing in support of ranked-choice voting, a common-sense reform to our voting system that puts power back in the hands of voters and makes politicians more accountable to us. Mainers will have an opportunity to cast a vote in favor of ranked-choice voting at the polls next November.
There is a problem with the way we elect our leaders. The turmoil in Augusta has shown us we need to change the way we vote. In five of the last 11 races for Maine’s governor, candidates were elected by less than 40 percent of voters. In a representative democracy, our leaders should be elected by more than half of us, so they represent the people and are accountable to us, not to narrow political factions.
Ranked-choice voting restores majority rule and gives more power to voters. If a voter’s favorite candidate can’t win by a majority or more, his or her vote is instantly counted for his or her second choice, so no voter ever has to feel like a vote is wasted.
By restoring majority rule and giving voters the power to rank candidates, ranked-choice voting encourages candidates to reach beyond their bases and appeal more broadly for support. Because voters are less likely to rank as their second choice a candidate who has issued personal attacks against their favorite candidate, ranked-choice voting reduces incentives for negative campaigning.
Republicans, Democrats, independents, Greens and libertarians across Maine are coming together in support of this nonpartisan initiative.