Ranked-choice voting offers an opportunity for those of us who have felt disenfranchised by the political status quo to take back the power that the constitution intended we should have all along.

In five of the last 11 gubernatorial races, the winners took less than 40 percent of the votes cast, and those governors, whether they felt constrained or not, were really only accountable to the minority that elected them.

Ranked-choice voting would have meant that if I wanted Eliot Cutler to be governor in the last election, as I did, but designated (along with other Cutler supporters) Michael Michaud as my second choice, the election would have played out as follows: Cutler had the fewest (52,000) votes. Michaud took in 265,000.

Had we been using ranked-choice voting, those Eliot supporters who picked Michaud as their second choice would have had their Eliot votes added to Michaud’s total. If everyone who voted for Cutler had chosen Michaud as their second choice, Michaud would have won the election 316,000 to Lepage’s 295,000.

Finally, under the provisions of ranked-choice voting, each candidate will be more interested in appealing to a broader spectrum of voters than might otherwise be the case, and contests will be more likely to focus on the issues we all care about than on character assassination.

Phil Crossman