At this point, “sore loser” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Bruce Poliquin has been much more visible in the state recently than when he was supposedly representing us. Instead of hiding out from the press by ducking into the women’s room, he’s meeting with voters (including, by the way, college students, who are either Maine natives or, if they’re from out of state, spend much more time in the state than snowbirds do) and protesting that he would have won if the rules had been different (“Poliquin denounces ranked-choice voting, addresses student voting in talk at Colby,” April 2).

That’s true: He could have been elected despite opposition from more than half the voters, just like Gov. Paul LePage was.

But I think Poliquin would have done better under any set of rules as long as he held positions that a majority of Mainers support: wider availability of health care, a more equitable tax system, and yes, ranked-choice voting.

Poliquin says he’d be fine with a runoff system, but that’s just what ranked-choice voting is — voters are asked not only to pick their top candidate, but also to say who they would vote for if there were a runoff that left their first-choice candidate out. Then we have the results of a runoff right there on the ranked-choice ballot without having to hold another full-scale election, with all the expense and disruption of work time that that entails.

It makes sense, which is why Maine voters approved it — twice. And it clearly works; we now have a representative in Congress who won the support of more than half the voters. That’s why they call it majority rule.


Jonathan Cohen


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