Not to devalue the votes for candidates, bonds and referendums that Mainers will cast Tuesday, but the most important action voters can take for the future of democracy in Maine might be to sign the petition for ranked-choice voting.

However the voting goes, it seems certain that whoever is elected governor will not be supported by at least 50 percent of the voters. This happens way too often in Maine, not just this year and four years ago.

Described in an Oct. 27 article (“Effort underway to ask Maine voters to switch to ranked-choice voting”), the efforts of Dick Woodbury and Diane Russell to implement a voting system in 2018 that will ensure that our elected officials are supported by at least 50 percent of the voting electorate is needed now more than ever.

Wouldn’t it be great if each of us cannot get our first choice elected, our individual votes could go to each of our second choices once our preferred candidate is eliminated (and so forth until someone gets 50 percent of the votes)? We cannot depend on the officials in Augusta to do anything on this – they are married to the existing system.

It is up to the populace to collect enough signatures to get this form of voting on a referendum to be voted on by the people. Implementation in four years allows time for the leases on existing voting machines to expire, thereby minimizing the cost.

So on Election Day, go to the polls and vote your conscience on the various issues before you, but also sign the petition to implement ranked-choice voting that will hopefully be available at your voting location. If the petition is not available at your location, be on the lookout for other opportunities to sign.

Bill Dunn
Yarmouth