In 2007 five Republicans joined five Democrats to sponsor a bill to implement ranked-choice voting in Maine. After Gov. John Baldacci’s plurality re-election, Republicans all over Maine clamored for a run-off voting system. Maine Republicans use a multi-round run-off system to elect their party leaders.

Republicans in other states also use ranked-choice voting, or other run-off systems, for this purpose. Some “red” states, like Texas, use run-off voting, sometimes including ranked-choice voting, for their primaries and/or other elections. Run-off voting is used in Lewiston for electing mayors, which is why Republicans were able to win that office in some recent election cycles.

Ranked-choice voting is non-partisan and favors no one party. It has been supported by Republicans, Democrats and independents in Maine, and has been used in various places around the nation and the world for many years. It is run-off voting just done with one ballot instead of an entirely new and more expensive second election. It is one-person-one-runoff-vote, just as in any run-off system.

We have now successfully used ranked-choice voting in several statewide elections. It is constitutional. Ranked-choice voting ballots are easy and empower voters with more voice and more choice. Ranked-choice voting ensures that multi-candidate election winners much better reflect the true will of the voters.

It is therefore so strange and unfortunate that the Maine Republican Party is now spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on out-of-state consultants and imported paid signature-gatherers to attempt to overturn Maine’s law to use ranked-choice voting in presidential elections.

We should reject this misguided effort by the Maine Republican Party, which is trying to overturn a popular non-partisan election process that has already been affirmed twice by Maine voters.

 

Ron Bilancia

Brewer


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