Last November, the voters of Maine approved a referendum to institute a ranked-choice/instant-runoff approach to electing statewide officials. Nearly 400,000 voters, 52 percent of the total, voted in favor of ranked-choice voting, the second-largest yes vote on a referendum in Maine history. Subsequently, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an adverse opinion, indicating that the Maine Constitution requires only a plurality for winning the in-state races. Since this opinion, the Maine Legislature has been considering how to reconcile the law with the Maine Constitution.

Two alternatives are now being considered by the Legislature: a bill that would amend the Constitution to fully implement ranked-choice voting, and one that would repeal the referendum result.

Clearly, the appropriate choice is to amend the Constitution to reflect the will of voters. I hope readers will contact their legislators and ask them to respect the informed choice that voters have made, reject the repeal bill, and follow through on implementing ranked-choice voting in time for the 2018 election cycle.

Ranked choice will give us the option to both choose the candidate we believe will do the best job, and to rank our back-up choices as a compromise in the event our first choice does not prevail. Voters will no longer be forced to choose between the candidate who aligns most closely with their beliefs and a candidate who does not but has a better chance to win, in an effort to prevent a win by someone who even less closely aligns.

In a ranked-choice system, all votes matter. It will give all of us the opportunity to vote for the candidate we believe will do the best job. The voters have spoken and our legislators should assure that their voices guide future elections.

Linda Dartt

Montville


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.