It’s curious that changing the method of selecting Maine’s attorney general and secretary of state wasn’t a pressing matter in 2011, when Paul LePage first took office. Strange, too, that a self-proclaimed proponent of small government would propose the creation of the new office of lieutenant governor, an executive position with no real role in a small state other than serving as governor-in-waiting.

Voters in Maine already have a role in filling the constitutional executive offices, in the same way that they have a role in the selection of members of the state judiciary: The voters choose the governor and the Legislature, who select state judges after conducting a thorough vetting process.

If anything, the quality of those who have served in these positions over the years supports the argument to keep Maine’s unique selection system just as it is. Currently, Janet Mills and Matt Dunlap have served the state with intelligence, integrity and professionalism, traits most desirable in our state’s executive branch.

Alteration of the present method of selection would require a significant redrafting of multiple sections of the Maine Constitution: Article V, Second Part, Section 1 for the position of secretary of state, and Article IX, Section 11 for the position of attorney general.

Still, it can be said that in one particular aspect, reconsideration of the method by which executive branch officials are chosen does have merit. The process by which the governor is elected is worth examination.

A meaningful improvement to the current flawed process would require one minor adjustment to the Maine Constitution: replacing the word “plurality” in Article V, First Part, Section 3 with the word “majority.”

Joe Wagner

Lyman