Letter: "Ranked Choice Voting Good for Civility"

Times Record

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The essence of being a conservative is taking action to preserve those traditions that make our state and country great. One such tradition in my eyes is Maine’s tradition of civility. From shoveling our neighbors’ driveways to making our roads unpredictable because we insist on giving the other guy right-of-way, Mainers are known throughout the north-east for our polite ways.

Historically, this tradition of civility has extended to our politics. This has resulted in bipartisan cooperation on a whole range of issues at the state level and popularly supported elected officials like Susan Collins, Bill Cohen and Olympia Snowe, all of whom are well known for their bipartisanship, and commitment to civil service. Lately though, we seem to have threatened that tradition, as the 2014 electoral cycle was perhaps the nastiest in recent Maine memory.

Ranked Choice Voting will help us reinstate and preserve that tradition by incentivizing positive, bipartisan politics. Under a ranked choice voting system, candidates must secure not only their supporters first selection, but also the second and third selections of a wider range of voters in order to obtain a majority of support. The system rewards candidates who are able to build consensus and maintain broad support, while punishing strategies that depend on mudslinging. In effect, ranked choice voting incentivizes the same characteristics in candidates that are required to create consensus in Augusta and Washington and help revitalize Maine.

Adam Pontius,

Portland

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