letter to the editor

Ranked choice voting

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 3:15pm

    Dear Editor:

    In response to Dave Gregg’s letter (2/13), “Where do I sign,” regarding ranked choice voting, I’ll start by citing the Maine League of Women Voters:

    “Maine voters will be voting for the offices of President of the United States, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, Maine State Senate, and Maine State House. We will be using ranked choice voting in all of the federal elections, including the choice of presidential electors* for the office of President of the United States. We will not be using ranked choice voting in the elections for Maine State Senate or Maine State House." *(electors in our electoral college elect the actual president after the state votes are tallied)

    Ranked choice voting is entirely of the people and by the people. It ensures that in races with three or more candidates the one with the most support from a majority of voters is the winner. If this November’s general election for president has an independent candidate in addition to candidates from the two major parties, then ranked choice voting would apply if none of the candidates receive a majority of first choice votes. It means that people can vote their hopes for the candidate they like best, without worrying that it will result in electing the candidate they like least with a small plurality. Because majority wins, every vote counted. High voter participation and inclusion increases citizen self-determination, our most coveted American value. Ranked choice voting ensures that what a majority of voters fully support prevails. It also fosters greater voter knowledge of all candidates, resulting in more personalized and informed voting.

    Sadly, our current divisiveness results in this focus on fabricating falsehoods, and inciting fear, wasting the time and resources of our governing bodies better engaged with addressing our immediate and serious constituent needs. This election season let’s turn down the hyperbole, and turn up the facts, the truth, and the desire for being a well-reasoned and engaged electorate.

    Paula Arsenault