Letter: "Ranked Choice is the way to go"

South Portland Sentry

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To the editor:

Last month, the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting submitted more than 70,000 signatures to the Maine Secretary of State’s office to secure access on the November 2016 statewide ballot. Their referendum question will ask voters to implement ranked choice voting for federal and state primary and general elections in Maine, beginning with the November 2018 election cycle.

I was inspired to get involved in the movement for Ranked Choice Voting after learning the shocking fact that nine of our last 11 governors were elected with less than 50 percent of the vote.

With this in mind, I’ve come to appreciate the frustration that many voters have experienced during the last 40 years. Our system is designed to facilitate races between the two major parties, yet multi-candidates races are the norm and they are here to stay.

I don’t see this as a partisan issue – I see this as a shared issue for all Mainers because majority rule doesn’t benefit one party over another. It ensures that our representatives in Augusta and Washingtonhave a true mandate from the voters to do their job. When we elect leaders with less than a majority of the vote, we are enabling and adding to the cycle of chaos, turmoil, gridlock and partisanship that threatens to shut down our government.

With that in mind, it’s clear we need to transition to a system that ensures majority rule and returns power to voters, so they can support their favorite candidates, without the fear of inadvertently helping to elect their least favorite candidates.

Ranked choice voting is the simple and easy solution. It has the flexibility for a voter to rank multiple candidates or only one, and the counting process works like an instant runoff, so voters don’t have to return to the polls for a second election. This system has been successfully implemented at the municipal level in cites that include Portland and Minneapolis and at the federal level, in countries that include Ireland and Australia

For a comprehensive overview of how ranked choice voting works, why we need it and how you can get involved, please visit www.rcvmaine.com.

Max Wibby South Portland

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