Many younger voters feel disenfranchised by the stranglehold of the two-party system. They feel that the same stale talking points are recycled each election as the ubiquitous nature of negative campaigning precludes any meaningful discussion about important policy issues that concern younger Mainers — issues such as school loans, upward mobility and middle-class security.

So how can we inspire the youth vote? I believe the answer is simple: We need to instill confidence in the way we elect our leaders. Fortunately, the implementation of ranked choice voting is a step in the right direction.

Ranked choice voting would vastly expand the marketplace of ideas and solutions to Maine’s most pressing problems. With a larger forum, the reign and responsibilities of the two major parties would be held in check. Instead of traditional horse-race politics, politicians would be forced to acknowledge real, complex public policy concerns and demonstrate their plan and competence to answer the call with meaningful reforms.

Voters and politicos alike admirably decry politics as usual, but they misunderstand the nature of the problem. If we truly care about the issues, if we truly care about fast-tracking progress in the state of Maine, then we will enact electoral reform in November of 2016.

Can we, as younger voters, reignite our faith in the democratic process? I believe so. Join me in supporting the campaign for ranked choice voting. The mayoral race in Portland has already demonstrated its efficacy. Now, it’s time to implement this reform on a state and federal level.

Jeremy Ashlock


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