During past gubernatorial elections, I have felt that my option was either to vote for one of two major party candidates, neither of whom expressed ideas or plans I supported, or to support my chosen candidate knowing there was little hope for success.

Ranked-choice voting will eliminate the spoiler effect and provide voters with a real opportunity to freely express our choices, while providing an incentive to participate for those who do not align with one of the two parties currently in power. In a ranked-choice system, all votes matter.

The current proposal before the Legislature would adopt ranked-choice voting in Maine for federal and state elections when there are three or more candidates. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the one with the least votes would be eliminated and their voters’ second-choice votes re-assigned until one candidate has a majority.

Majority rule would not require an expensive and time-consuming run-off election.

Ranked-choice voting would give all of us the opportunity to vote for the candidate we believe is the best, without fear of a result that again leaves Maine with a governor or other representatives supported by only a minority of voters. The diversity of opinion among our electorate has been apparent in many elections for governor (Jim Longley, Joseph Brennan, Angus King, John McKernan, John Baldacci, Paul LePage) where a minority decided the winner. Ranked-choice will encourage diversity among candidates, providing all Maine citizens with better choices. We owe it to ourselves to try another way.

Linda Dartt

Montville


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