Press Release: The League of Women Voters of Maine endorses ranked choice voting

Non-partisan group makes a clear case for voters to approve citizen initiative

Joint Press Release

For Immediate Release

February 17, 2015

The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Maine endorsed ranked choice voting in an Op-Ed published in today’s Kennebec Journal

“The League of Women Voters of Maine supports ranked choice voting, which encourages candidates to reach out to more voters, alleviates concerns about the ‘spoiler effect,’ and ensures the election of candidates who have majority support,” said League Board Member Polly Ward. “Maine’s current system of plurality voting, in which the candidate with the most votes wins, can be thorny in elections with more than two candidates.”

The League listed the following benefits of ranked choice voting:

  • Ensures a majority winner and is most likely to elect a candidate with broad appeal.
  • Minimizes “strategic” voting, allowing voters to express their sincere preferences among candidates.
  • Eliminates the “spoiler” effect of third-place finishers.
  • Does not require a separate run-off election.
  • Promotes civility in campaigns.
  • May improve voter participation.

 

“The League’s endorsement speaks volumes about the integrity of the ranked choice voting initiative,” said Campaign Manager Kyle Bailey. “Mainers will be pleased to learn that this reform stands out to the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Maine as the best structural reform to our current voting system.”

In 2008, members of the League of Women Voters of Maine began studying possible solutions to the problems of our current system of plurality voting. In 2013, the League convened a working group of civic leaders, legal scholars and reform advocates to develop a formal proposal. The working group drafted the language for the proposed citizen initiative.

The League of Women Voters of Maine is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major political policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting will formally submit petitions later this year to trigger a November 2016 vote by Maine people on the citizen initiative for ranked choice voting.

Read the League’s Op-Ed in its entirety here:

http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/02/17/ranked-choice-voting-would-work-well-in-maine/

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