Bangor Daily News
Maine voters have become increasingly frustrated with the current political climate. Elections have lost civility and integrity. Candidates running for office have grown to rely on attack ads and negative campaigning with less face-to-face contact with voters. Elections have become less competitive and more about which candidate can outlast the others. Regardless of personal beliefs, voters are waiting for more solutions and less finger pointing.
Ranked-choice voting is a statewide referendum question that will appear on Maine’s November 2016 ballot. The majority of voters agree something needs to change. Mainers soon will have the opportunity to join other cities and nations that have proven ranked-choice voting to be a beneficial reform. This system guarantees a majority winner, promotes issue-based campaigns and, perhaps most importantly, provides an opportunity for dialogue and understanding.
Ranked-choice voting is not designed to benefit one group of voters over another. It does, however, benefit candidates who are willing to approach those voters and discuss even the most difficult issues. Maine’s long history of electing Republicans, Democrats and independents won’t change under a ranked-choice system.
By implementing ranked-choice voting in Maine, our political landscape would shift dramatically to one that is more open and honest. With ranked-choice voting, an election can only be won with a majority. This requires candidates to show determination and vigor. This is what I believe we need from our elected officials. With elections being more competitive, the views and concerns of the voter come into focus, once again.