In the election for president and U.S. Senate this year, you will have the freedom to rank your vote. Ranked choice voting has been approved by voters, enacted by the legislature and certified by the courts after lengthy legal wrangling.
Ranked choice voting is a simple, fair and easy way to vote that gives you the freedom to express your true opinions about more than one candidate without worrying that you will help to elect your least favorite candidate.
Ask yourself, of the five candidates running for president, who would do the best job? That’s who you should rank as your first choice. Now, ask yourself, if that candidate couldn’t win, who could you live with? That’s who you should rank as your second choice. You don’t need to rank them all, just your favorite and your back up, but you can do as many as you want.
In the U.S. Senate race, who would you prefer to have cast votes on your behalf? That’s your first choice. If she or he couldn’t win, who is next-best? That’s your second choice. In my case, Lisa Savage is a clear front runner, with progressive views that match my own. This year I can rank her first, putting Sara Gideon as my second choice, knowing that if it is close between Collins and Gideon, Lisa’s voters will likely be with me, and push Sara over the top.
If no candidate receives an outright majority, ballots are counted in rounds where last-place candidates are eliminated until one candidate reaches a majority and wins. Your ballot counts for your second choice only if your first choice is eliminated.
It may seem complicated at first glance, but it eliminates the chance of a runoff and also secures the fact that whoever wins has a true majority of votes.
To the polls! Or the mailbox!