With election season upon us, it’s not easy to escape the ubiquitous campaign commercials on TV and radio. And it’s undeniable that campaign commercials have gotten progressively more negative and nasty.

The current winner-take-all electoral system promotes negative campaigning because through negative advertising, candidates hope that voters won’t waste their vote on their opponent(s). Unfortunately, we, the public, are at the receiving end of all this dirt.

Fortunately, there is an antidote to both negative campaign ads and “wasted votes” — ranked-choice voting. Ranked-choice voting discourages negative campaigning because candidates know they need all the votes they can get, and tend to show greater civility when potential votes are on the line.

I encourage Mainers to vote for ranked-choice voting by voting yes on Question 5 on this year’s ballot. It’s time for more voice, more choice, and more civility.

For an explanation of ranked-choice voting, go to www.rcvmaine.com.

Ted Markow


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