Predicting the outcome of political races for public office is not an exact science. But one prediction is almost guaranteed to be accurate — it is very likely that in this November’s election the next governor will win with less than a majority of the votes. The majority will once again be represented by a governor they did not vote for. That is counter to democratic principles of fairness in representative government.

So what should voters do about this system? A good start would be for voters to ask the Legislature to make elections fairer by revising the state constitution to change the word “plurality” to the word “majority” as it relates to elections for governor and state representatives. Voters would then approve the change in a ballot referendum prepared by legislators for the next election.

That’s their job. This is how the system should work. But when ranked-choice voting, a process for deciding elections by the majority of votes, was approved by the voters in the 2016 election, the Legislature failed to do their job.

It is too late to fix this onerous problem for this November election. But it’s not too late to choose only those candidates that support election to office by a majority of votes. Ask candidates if they support a change to the state constitution to provide that candidates can only be elected by winning a majority of the votes.

Jim Chiddix

Waterville


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