ELLSWORTH — Four community education forums on ranked choice voting are being held at local restaurants for Hancock County residents beginning on Monday, Sept. 14.
There will be food to sample at each event, and all are free and open to the public.
The forums will be co-hosted by the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, the League of Women Voters, One Hancock, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ellsworth and the Community Union of Ellsworth and Hancock County.
The forum schedule is as follows:
- Monday, Sept. 14: MacLeod’s Restaurant, 63 Main St., Bucksport, 5-6 p.m.
- Monday, Sept. 21: Pat’s Pizza, 396 High St., Ellsworth, 5-6 p.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 22: Havana Restaurant, 318 Main St., Bar Harbor, 4-5 p.m.
- Wednesday, Sept. 23: Ironbound Restaurant, 1513 U.S. Route 1, Hancock, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
“The League of Women Voters is excited to serve as a co-sponsor for these forums,” said local League leader Ann Luther. “We believe ranked choice voting is the best system to ensure the election of candidates who have majority support, minimize strategic voting and eliminate the spoiler effect.”
Each forum will include an opportunity to participate in a simulated ranked choice election using food samples from local restaurants, along with a brief update from the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting and its coalition partners about the progress of its November 2016 ballot initiative, followed by a question and answer session about the proposed reform.
“It’s wonderful that these groups have joined together to sponsor these forums in Hancock County,” said Committee Chairman Dick Woodbury. “Given the negativity and divisiveness of politics these days, ranked choice voting could be the most important issue I’ve worked to advance in my decade in politics in Maine.”
In races with more than two candidates, ranked choice voting gives voters the opportunity to rank candidates in order of preference. The system has been used to elect the mayor in Portland since November of 2011.