Maine voters made important choices last November on three referendum questions, a basic form of grass-roots democracy that we here in the Northeast still treasure, and all are under assault in Augusta.

Among these, ranked-choice voting won the second largest vote on a referendum in Maine’s history. Mainers voted overwhemingly for more choice and more voice and an end to the spoiler effect that prevents so many from taking the chance on voting their conscience. Ranked-choice voting also prevents candidates winning with less than a majority of support, so no more disasters like Gov. Paul LePage.

At a time when democracy itself is under assault from machinations within and without the country, it seems especially important to reform our dysfunctional system so that the will of the people is more accurately reflected in the election results.

Instead of honoring the clear mandate of the voters, these legislators are now trying to use disingenuous and flimsy arguments about the constitutionality of being able to rank one’s choices, claiming it violates the “one person/one vote” rule, as if it didn’t actually result in just one vote per person in the end. It is not only an affront to our actual constitutional right to have our vote respected, it is an insult to our intelligence.

Those who want to undo the will of the people, especially when it involves a clear mandate for voting reform, are the true enemies of democracy.

Please contact your legislators in support of ranked-choice voting and demand that they respect the initiative process and the will of the voters by immediately implementing the law for the next elections.

Bia Winter

Mount Vernon

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