I read state Sen. Ron Collins’ opinion piece in the Nov. 16 with interest. He argues that “Maine is not ready for ranked choice.” Perhaps he is not ready, and perhaps the political elite is not ready for a more democratic and inclusive form of voting, but I think the majority of Mainers are ready, as evidenced by the strong support the ranked-choice voting referendum got last year.

I am angered that the recent actions of the Legislature have forced our campaign to run a people’s veto. Opponents like Collins voted in the October to oppose the will of the people by delaying and repealing ranked-choice voting.

In order to reinstate it for the June primary elections and beyond, we must collect 61,123 valid signatures by the end of the year.

This past Election Day I stood outside our local town polling place on a cold and windy day and collected 100 signatures in three hours. The people signing were annoyed that their original vote had not been taken seriously; that they were not being listened to by the Legislature.

Ranked-choice voting has been used successfully at the municipal level in Portland, at the state level in North Carolina, and at the national level in Australia. It is an insult to the intelligence of Maine voters when opponents like Collins say that this voting system is too complicated. Mainers are quite capable.

If you see someone offering the “people’s veto” petition at a local event or gathering, consider signing and help to put the people back into our democratic process here in Maine. Get involved in the effort by going to www.rcvmaine.com. If you are a legislator, listen this time around to what the people are asking for in the referendum and support it to the best of your ability.

Emanuel Pariser


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