News Release

The “Second-Most Important Vote” On Election Day

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The Portland Press-Herald just published an editorial: “Ranked-choice voting is right for Maine,” which states: “we support Question 5, a proposal to introduce ranked-choice voting in primaries and general elections for U.S. senator, U.S. representative, governor and members of the Maine Legislature.

“This reform represents a bold change, but it’s a change that would bring back something we’ve lost — consensus politics in a time of political fragmentation.”
Also, see: “The Second-Most Important Vote On Election Day,” by Larry Diamond.
MICHELLE WHITTAKER, mwhittaker[at]fairvote.org, @fairvote
Communications director for FairVote, Whittaker said today: “FairVote applauds the tireless work of thousands of grassroots supporters and volunteers to bring ranked choice voting to Maine. Question 5 gives voters a stronger voice and ensures that the will of the people is heard in Maine. In our current system, the way we choose our leaders is failing. As a nonpartisan group, FairVote advocates for proven solutions to make elections better. Voters should have the freedom to vote for the candidate they like the best without fear that their vote will help the candidate they like the least. Studies show that campaigns are less negative in cities that use ranked choice voting. Rewarding candidates who seek to earn every voter’s support is a win for the people of Maine and American democracy as a whole. Ranked choice voting is a nonpartisan reform supported by Republicans, Democrats, and independents. We all recognize the need to make our country a better place for future generations. It begins with how we elect and hold our leaders accountable.

JILL WARD, jmward23[at]gmail.com, @lwvme
Ward is president of the Augusta-based League of Women Voters of Maine. She wrote the piece “Ranked-choice voting passes every test of true democracy.”
She said today: “The League of Women Voters of Maine supports Question 5 on this year’s ballot to bring ranked choice voting to Maine because we believe that better governance comes when candidates, of any party, are elected by a majority of Maine voters. Our current voting system, plurality voting, works well when there are only two candidates because one of them is guaranteed to win with majority support. But three and four-way races among competitive candidates are common in Maine and can lead to results where the winner fails to receive a majority of the votes cast (50 percent + 1). When that happens — when high office is controlled by winners who represent a minority view — it’s a recipe for stalemate in the best case, unpopular public policy in the worst case, and public cynicism toward government in either case. Ranked choice voting will put more power in the hands of voters and move us toward the fairer, more honest democracy so many of us desire.”