I used to joke that I’ve never voted for a candidate who won. But it’s not funny. Usually they were third party candidates, running outside the “beltway.” Too many times I felt I’ve had no real choice. In recent times, I’ve voted against one candidate, more than for the other. And I’m tired of it.
In Maine, we now have a chance to change all that. It’s called “ranked choice voting” and it will be on the ballot in November. The beauty of this system is that if no candidate gets over 50 percent of the vote, including my first choice, whoever I ranked as my second choice gets my vote. At least I’ll feel like I had a choice that wasn’t controlled by a two-party system.
Ranked choice voting will encourage people who want to build a platform independent of the major parties to run for office. It will change the debates, because every candidate will be thinking of how to appeal to voters for that second choice slot, and broaden their position to include a wider electorate. Negative campaigning will flunk the test.
On Primary Day, June 14, I “tabled” for ranked choice voting in Ellsworth. I was delighted to learn that most everyone who came to my table enthusiastically supported this referendum and plan to vote for it in November. It might just be the way a real change will finally happen! Let’s do it!