I want, and fully expect, Hillary Clinton to become president-elect in November, and I wouldn’t do anything to interfere with that.

And some day soon, I’d like to see our peculiarly American “Electoral College” system abolished, as can happen pending changes in state law in several places. Then, our binary choice would be as clear in deep-blue Vermont and Maryland and deep-red Alabama and Montana as it now is in places like Florida and Ohio, and for better or worse, everyone’s presidential vote would count exactly the same, with the plurality winner being elected.

That’s a possible future. In the grimy present, Maine is a deep-blue state, where a “protest” vote for a third-party presidential candidate won’t hurt Clinton’s prospects. But because, along with only Nebraska, we also award electoral votes by congressional district, residents of Maine’s 2nd District should not be casting votes of “strategic protest,” which could be detrimental.

All denizens of Kennebec County need to know what district they’re in. In the rest of Maine, district lines follow county lines. Since I live in the Lincoln County town of Whitefield, I’ll likely vote for Jill Stein with a clear conscience. (Presuming I see a statewide poll conducted in October still showing a 10 or more point lead for Clinton.)

When I do, it will be an expression of dissatisfaction with American establishment politics in general, and Clinton’s worrisome foreign policy hawkishness in particular.

The air of inevitability that surrounds her is off-putting, but also a reflection of her overwhelming qualifications. We must not let it keep us from our civic duty to cast Democratic votes this fall.

In the interim, it might be amusing to start a betting pool around how many more times the Trump campaign will undergo additional “major shakeups.”

James Silin

Whitefield

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